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Dogs had their day at Wichita’s Woofstock

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013, at 11:13 p.m.
  • Updated Friday, Oct. 11, 2013, at 12:20 p.m.

Sixteen-month-old Sapphyre and 4-month-old Charger met a week ago when their owners adopted the younger pooch from the Kansas Humane Society. They celebrated the union at Saturday’s Woofstock, amid plenty of introductory sniffs and joyful barks.

Both Chihuahuas dressed in their best: a wee wedding dress and a tiny tux.

“He was a rescue,” Wichitan Corey Evans-Rutledge said of Charger, who basked in the autumn sun. Later she joked: “Now they’re newlyweds. It was an arranged marriage. This is their honeymoon.”

New family was among at least 10,000 canine enthusiasts and their beloved breeds who attended this weekend’s Woofstock, a daylong, pet-friendly party held annually at Sedgwick County Park, 6300 W. 13th St. in Wichita. The event – the Kansas Humane Society’s largest fundraiser – included a silent auction, contests for pets, more than 80 vendors and an up-close look at dogs listed for adoption.

Proceeds will help the organization provide care and services for about 16,000 animals that will pass through its doors in 2013.

About $220,000 was raised this year.

“It’s the most money that we’ve ever raised for Woofstock,” said Jennifer Campbell, director of communications for the Kansas Humane Society. She noted that in 2012, the organization placed about 8,000 animals in new homes.

“It stays here in Wichita taking care of Wichita pets,” she said.

Like Charger, many of the canines at Saturday’s party were adopted by their owners.

Others were born into their families.

Lori and Donald Nelson kept their 12-year-old Yorkshire terrier, Petey, from one of his mother’s litters. He rolled through the grass Saturday, aided by a small “wheelchair” because he was born without his front legs.

“The minute he came out two-legged, we just knew we would keep him,” Lori Nelson, of Wichita, said, glancing toward Petey with endearing eyes. His canine siblings, a Yorkie named JJ and Nikki, a Pomeranian mix, wagged their tails nearby.

“This is his favorite day of the year. We’ve never missed Woofstock,” she said.

Wichitan Diane Myers took her trio of 13-year-old Yorkies to Woofstock this year in support of the Kansas Humane Society, too. But socializing her pooches is her favorite part of the event.

“They enjoy getting out and being with other people and other dogs,” Myers said of Chante, Sebastian and Cupid, who were escaping the sunshine for a few minutes under the shade of a small, covered wagon. Each had a bright-colored bow tied in its hair.

“It’s great to see other people with their dogs and be a part of an outing where you can bring your dog.”

Canines, she added, are among her greatest companions.

“They’re pure of heart.”

Reach Amy Renee Leiker at 316-268-6644 or aleiker@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @amyreneeleiker.

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