For those looking for a fun autumn afternoon, the Finney County Humane Society is offering something for everyone during its fall fundraiser Barktober Fest this Saturday.

“This event is always a big hit with people as it’s a chance to come out and participate in the games, rides, demonstrations, food and other activities while supporting the work of FCHS,” said Nikki Spanier, FCHS executive director. “We will have a silent auction, a costume contest, K9 police demonstrations and end the evening with a Dog Jog Glow Run/Walk. It’s a great time for two- and four-legged friends and families.”

Barktober Fest will run from 3 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12 in Stevens Park in downtown Garden City. Spanier said the money raised at Barktober Fest is used to support the FCHS mission and the many activities and services provided by the society. The lineup of events includes:

• 3 p.m. — Vendor booths, the silent auction, picture booth ($5 a photo), vaccination clinic, costume contest registration ($5 per animal), concession stand, kids’ train rides ($1 per ride per child) and the kid game booths featuring a ring toss, toy hunt, face painting, pumpkin painting and a dog bowl toss (six games for $5) open.

• 3:30 p.m. — Buchman Bestial Behaviors will provide information and a demonstration

• 4:30 p.m. — Garden City Police K9 unit demonstration and registration for the costume contest ends

• 5:30 p.m. — Costume contest begins

• 6:30 p.m. — Silent auction tables and vendors close between 7-7:30 p.m.

• 7:30 p.m. — Registration for the Dog Jog Glow Run/Walk closes

• 8 p.m. — Dog Jog Race begins

“The costume contest is always a huge crowd-pleaser and dog owners get very creative when it comes to outfitting their pets,” Spanier said. “It is hilarious to watch them parade for the local celebrity judges and the crowd gets into the fun as well.”


Where the money goes

According to Spanier, proceeds from the Barktober Fest help the FCHS care for more than 3,175 animals each year. The society spends over $1,200 a day for food, care and shelter for animals and dispenses over 12,000 medications to help pets recover from illnesses. It provides over $38,000 for vaccinations, gives over $12,000 in vouchers, $2,500 for low-cost spay/neuter clinics and $11,660 to help reduce the cost of pet adoption. Nearly $50,000 a year is spent on transporting dogs and cats to rescues all over the United States in order to save lives instead of euthanizing them, she said.

“This summer was particularly challenging as there was a much higher than normal number of kittens and puppies born in Finney County,” Spanier said. “There were very few days when we weren’t to capacity with cats, kittens, dogs and puppies of all sizes. In addition to feeding and caring for them, we had a parvo outbreak so many animals came in really sick so our medication usage took a much larger bounce this year than in the past.”

Funds are also used to finance educational materials and other work handled by the society, Spanier said.

“There’s always a need for volunteers, people to adopt an animal or provide foster care for dogs and cats needing attention and special care as they heal, wet and dry dog and cat food, toys, towels and blankets. Barktober Fest is such a fun way to raise funds and awareness of our work saving animals from cruelty, neglect and suffering. Humans are repaid with unconditional love with a wet nose. It’s just great," Spanier said.

"Top Dog" sponsors for the event include American Warrior Construction; Buchman Bestial Behaviors; Coleen’s Trophies, Awards & Gifts; Golden Plains Credit Union; McDonald's; Patrick Dugan’s Coffee House; Rocking M Radio; Renewal by Anderson; and Lora Schneider/Edward Jones. "Pet Love" sponsors are Steam Action Restoration & Carpet Cleaning; Garden City Optometrists; A & C Rentals; Commerce Bank; and Keller Leopold Insurance.