EAST LIVERPOOL - Dogs walking in Thompson Park is not all that uncommon, but at noon on Sept. 8, promoters of a dog walk to raise funds for a new K-9 unit for the city police department are hoping for a large turnout of walkers, both human and canine.
Spearheaded by Rachele Tatgenhorst, the event will feature not only the dog walk but a large Chinese auction, vendors, demonstrations, dog vaccinations and photos, kids' activities, music and food.
"Everybody loves their dog," Tatgenhorst said, explaining that those who wish to walk that day can register for $10, which will get their dogs an official ELPD K-9 scarf which match the t-shirts also being sold to raise money that day.
Posing with just one of many gift baskets to be auctioned at the Sept. 8 Dog Walk to benefit the East Liverpool Police Department K-9 unit are (left) Rachele Tatgenhorst and Patrolman Chad Tatgenhorst. Registration forms are available in the lobby outside the police station in City Hall, at Four Bad Jacks Grooming in Wellsville and at the Community Animal Clinic on St. Clair Avenue. (Photo by Jo Ann Bobby-Gilbert)
Participating dogs will also receive unlimited snacks and water, and walkers are encouraged to seek sponsors. The top two dogs with the most sponsors will receive goody baskets.
Those who plan on walking are urged to stop in the lobby outside the police department in the basement of City Hall, Four Bad Jacks Grooming on Main Street in Wellsville or the Community Animal Clinic on St. Clair Avenue to pick up registration forms.
Once forms are sent to the address listed on them, Tatgenhorst will send entrants sponsor sheets for their dogs.
Walkers can also register the day of the event, with or without sponsors. Those with sponsors should bring that information with them.
Walkers will be required to sign a waiver agreeing to be responsible for their own dogs' behavior during the event.
The Chinese auction will feature gift baskets, and Tatgenhorst said, "It is going to be huge," with numerous baskets already pledged with a variety of contents.
So far, she has received a gift certificate from the Community Animal Clinic for a free spay or neuter and one from Bowser Bed and Bath for a week's free pet boarding.
Vendors will be set up at the event and vendors are still welcome to sign up by calling Tatgenhorst at 330-843-8576. Registration cost for vendors is donation of a basket for the auction.
Police wives will be operating a concession, and Coffee Tea & Fusion will be selling coffee/lattes, so no other food vendors will be accepted.
Four Bad Jacks Grooming will be offering nail clipping, ear cleaning and hair bows; photographer Stacie Ganancial will be taking pictures of pets and photos of people with St. Clair Township canine officer Axel; vaccinations will be offered; and homemade dog treats will be offered.
Axel's skills will be demonstrated by his handler, K-9 officer Chris Davis, and the Dog Training and Learning Enrichment Center out of Hubbard will offer an obedience demonstration and will test dogs for their suitability as service animals.
A Frisbee catching contest for dogs will be held, and McGruff the Crime Watch Dog will make an appearance. Kids can participate in face painting and can purchase "doggie bags" for $1 each.
Disc jockey Rylan Childs is donating music for the event, Keystone Printing donated posters, and the Humane Society of Columbiana County will bring adoptable dogs which can be walked by those who don't have their own.
"We're getting so many donations. The community is giving so much," Tatgenhorst said.
Anyone with questions or seeking additional information can contact Tatgenhorst at the number above.