The tables were turned yesterday in Hawrelak Park, when thousands of pets took their humans for a walk.

The 16th annual Pets In the Park fundraising event took place yesterday, and though skies were rainy, it didn’t keep many four-legged friends from dragging their two-legged owners out for the day.

The event is the biggest fundraiser for the Edmonton Humane Society (EHS) each year. Last year, 8,000 participants raked in almost $100,000 in support of the shelter.


“People really consider pets part of the family,” said Diane Shannon, EHS spokeswoman.

Though the crowd was dominated by dogs, there were other critters including cats, birds and ferrets. At one point, a herd of sheep got a run for their money, when they broke free from fencing around the park and ran onto Groat Road, only to be quickly herded back to safety by experienced sheep dogs.

Shannon said that a big part of the event was getting across a message of responsible pet ownership, as the Edmonton Humane Society feels the effects of irresponsible breeding and neglect every day.

“There are so many mixed-breed dogs that are great and need a home,” Shannon said, adding that the shelter is housing more than 400 animals, which is close to capacity.

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