Austin to hold ugly dog contestPublished 10:01am Wednesday, April 18, 2012
AUSTIN — Making a dog park for Austin a reality might be as simple as buying dog food.
The Spring Fling fundraising event, a combined effort between Double KK Specialty and Austin dog park group SPARK, kicks off Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Double KK Specialty. While kickoff activities are limited to Saturday, the fundraising portion of the event continues through April 28.
All funds will go toward SPARK’s goal of establishing a free-to-use dog park in Austin. The group says the park would allow responsible pets and owners to enjoy a fenced-in area where leashes would not be required. Currently there are no such parks in the city.
“This group is soliciting funds to be able to get the fences up,” said Kyle Klaehn, owner of Double KK. The city has made land available for them, he added.
The Spring Fling will feature the opportunity for owners to have their dogs photographed for “cutest” and “ugliest” dog contests.
“There’s no pre-signup needed,” Klaehn said. “They just show up.”
A collection of judges from throughout the community will review the photos and contact winners the following Monday. There is no charge for entry in either contest.
Owners who prefer to keep their pooches out of the pageants can still take advantage of Saturday’s other main draw.
“The city of Austin will be here accepting the application for dog licenses,” Klaehn said. “All pet owners are supposed to have one.”
The fee for obtaining such a license at City Hall is $10, but there will be no charge on Saturday, he added. Dog owners will need to provide a record of the dog’s vaccinations and whether it is spayed or neutered to pick up a license.
“They’ve done it at other events,” Klaehn said. Double KK had such an event a few years ago, he added, and over 20 licenses were issued.
SPARK will receive $1 for every bag of dog food Double KK sells during the eight days of the event. In addition, customers will be asked if they’d like to match that dollar with one of their own.
Klaehn said the store will enter those that donate into a drawing for a variety of prizes. The top prize, he said, are tickets to the Twins’ May 27 baseball game against the Detroit Tigers.
As added incentive, starting Sunday the first 40 people to donate a dollar at the store will receive a coupon for a free Culver’s sundae. Attendees do not need to purchase product from the store to donate.
“I’m hopeful to raise $1,000 throughout the event,” Klaehn said. This is the first time an event like the Spring Fling was done, he added.
Those interested in contributing will have to do so at the store to be entered in the drawing. Organizers encourage donations to the Austin Area Foundation for those who can’t be present.