Ugly and cute dogs alike wanted for competitionPublished 10:59am Tuesday, April 17, 2012
From extremely ugly to incredibly cute, the K-9s of Austin will rule next week.
A Spring Fling fundraising event — a combined effort between Double K Specialty and the Austin dog park group SPARK — kicks off Saturday, April 21 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Double K Specialty with an “ugliest” and “cutest” dog contest. Owners can have their pooches photographed at the specialty store for either competition.
“There’s no pre-signup needed,” said Kyle Klaehn, owner of Double K. “They just show up.”
A collection of judges from throughout the community will review dog photos and contact winners the following Monday, April 23. There is no charge for either contest.
While kickoff activities are limited to Saturday, the fundraising portion of the event continues through April 28 at Double K.
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 K. The city has made land available for them, he added.
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 K had such an event a few years ago, he added, and the city issued over 20 licenses.
SPARK will receive $1 for every bag of dog food Double K sells during the eight-day 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, the first 40 people to donate a dollar at the store on Sunday will receive a coupon for a free Culver’s sundae. Attendees do not need to purchase products 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.