For Gumby – a white Great Dane who is blind and deaf – Woofstock was a chance to socialize.
Even though Gumby is a dog – a very large dog – on Saturday, he played the role of a horse with a small puppet knight on his back. Owner Kiko Smith dressed as the damsel in distress.
She rescued Gumby three and a half years ago.
“It’s really hard to find homes for large dogs with special needs,” she said. “He’s a sweetheart.”
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Woofstock is the social event of the year.
For dogs, anyway.
The Kansas Humane Society held its biggest annual fundraiser on Saturday at Sedgwick County Park.
An estimated 10,000 people attend Woofstock each year with thousands of their furry friends.
It’s the third year Jennifer Frank and her daughter, Christina, have been to Woofstock. They brought their Bernese Mountain dogs, Jackson and Bogie.
They’ve done some volunteer work with the society and adopted from them many times, Frank said.
“It’s really important that we re-home these animals that have found themselves in that situation,” she said. “I like that they hold onto them as long as possible to try to get them adopted out.”
Debbie Zimmerman and Bacardi, an American Straffordshire, were dressed to the nines as “mob bosses” in matching black zoot suits with pink pinstripes. Their inspiration? The movie “Scarface,” said Zimmerman’s daughter, Tanya Gagnebin.
They’ve been to Woofstock many times, dressing up in different costumes like pirates, cowboys and Hawaiian luau dancers.
“We love to check out everybody’s costumes,” Gagnebin said. “We will be back for as many years as we can.”
Woofstock has been held every year since 1997. This year, there were more than 60 booths with vendors giving out or selling everything from pet treats to nail trimming services.
Dog Gone Good owner Cathy Bacon and Happy Hounds Creations owner Michele Baker of Wellington had a tent selling homemade dog treats and custom collars.
“Every dog has its own little personality,” said Baker, who had hundreds of patterns of collars.
They’ve been in business about a year and it was their first Woofstock.
“You get to see all types of dogs, big and little,” Bacon said.
The goal of Woofstock is to fundraise more than $200,000 each year, said Melissa Houston, director of marketing and communications for the Kansas Humane Society.
As of Saturday afternoon, the humane society exceeded its separate online fundraising goal of $50,000, raising more than $56,000, in the days leading up to the event.
New services at Woofstock this year included a booth for microchipping and getting new tags for dogs, Houston said.
There were also new activities that also helped teach dogs to sniff out different scents and other task-oriented stations where dogs could receive treats if they completed the task.
The humane society also had about 20 pets on display that are available for adoption. More than 5,180 pets have been adopted through the organization so far this year, according to its website.
Another group, Kansas K-9 ResQ and Adoptions, was also at the event and is always looking for potential foster families, said president Toni Wenger.
“We foster them in homes and take care of them alongside our own dogs,” she said. “We take care of spaying and neutering and all medical needs, including to help train and socialize them.”