By Blaze Fugina Community Editor
The second annual Dog Days Westonka event for area dog owners is coming to Mound on Saturday, Aug. 18 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The event is hosted by Celebrate Greater Mound, and donations this year will still go to WeCAN and the Westonka Food Shelf. Last year, donations totaling $1,600 helped start a pet assistance fund with WeCAN, and last year the food shelf received a truck load of pet food donations.
This year Laura Cogswell, one of the event’s organizers, said she hopes more donations will come in from visitors to Dog Days Westonka.
"This is definitely a cause people needed help with," she said. "We would like to raise more pet food donations. Last year we had a truck load, and that didn’t last long."
The Dog Days Westonka also helped start the pet assistance program at WeCAN. Cogswell said many of the vendors at the event helped to chip in donations.
"The program helps anyone who needs assistance with their pets," she said. "They did use all of the funding donated to them last year."
Last year, WeCAN Executive Director Leah Weycker said there was a demand for a pet assistance program in the area before Dog Days Westonka helped to start one.
"There’s definitely a need", she said. "Pets are expensive, but they’re also good for mental health and companionship."
The event drew roughly 400 people last year, and one of the most popular events, the cutest puppy contest, should be back again this year.
"The cutest puppy contest was a huge hit," said Cogswell. "All the events were well attended."
There are new events coming this year that should help spark more interest in the event. The Twin Cities Disc Dog Club will be putting on a performance, a "Hot Car Demonstration" will be shown by the Westonka Animal Hospital and there will also be a sheep herding demonstration from the Gail Woods Farm. A pet parade, scheduled for 9 a.m. on Saturday, is planned to bring some participation from area pets.
"There is no registration required," said Cogswell about the pet parade. "People will dress up their pets and we’ll have the best entry."
As with last year, there will be over 30 companies on hand as exhibitors as well. The area Lions club will be serving hot dogs.
One unique booth that will be at Westonka Dog Days will be a "meet the authors" booth, with three authors of pet themed booths. One of the authors, Justine Lee, will also be presenting "Top 10 Poison Dangers to Your Pet" at 11:45 a.m.
These authors include Sid Korpi with his book "Good Grief: Finding Peace after Pet Loss," author Lee with her two books "It’s a Cat’s World…You Just Live in It" and "It’s a Dog’s Life … but It’s Your Carpet," and Stacy Raye Waibe with the children’s series "Rudy’s Little World."
Overall, Laura Cogswell said she thinks the event will be fun for pet lovers in the Mound area.
"I think it’ll be another great day," she said. "Hopefully the weather will be great."
For more information, check out the event’s website at dogdayswestonka.com.