On Sunday Greenwich Ave was teeming with dogs headed to the annual Howl & Prowl event, sponsored by Pet Pantry Warehouse in support of Adopt-a-Dog.
The annual event, established in 2008, is a family favorite and featured food trucks, pet portraits, bone bar, free samples and a canine costume contest for prizes courtesy of sponsor Pet Pantry.
The event was a fundraiser for Adopt-A-Dog and volunteers circulated dogs available for adoption including Astrid, a Beagle-Hound mix puppy.
Adopt-A-Dog is a limited admission animal shelter whose mission is to save, socialize and secure loving homes for unwanted or abandoned dogs. Located just over the town link in Armonk, NY, the non profit provides the highest standard of care for dogs in need, with a particular focus on ensuring that all aspects of their overall health and well-being are addressed.
First Selectman Fred Camillo served on a panel of judges. The winners were:
First Place: Woody from Toy Story
Second Place: Chucky and Bride of Chucky
Third Place: Jailbird “Mr. Charlie” the Dachshund
Runner Up: Santa
People’s Choice: Betsy the 80s workout dog
Pet and Parent: A trio of dogs dressed as a bee, a bunch of grapes and a strawberry
Among the pets dressed for the occasion was Buster, dressed for a Hawaiian Lū’au. Buster may not be headed to Hawaii but he was fortunate to get off death row in New York City’s Animal Control facility when Greenwich resident Stephanie Maze came to his rescue.
Maze adopted Buster seven years ago. He was her second rescue dog.
Years earlier she helped her mother rescue a cat, Lily, from Manhattan Animal Control (326 East 110th Street (between 1st and 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10029)
That was her first foray into the world of rescue, which she described as a grassroots effort.
After the cat landed safely wither her mother, Maze said she became more aware of the rate of euthanasia of unwanted pets.
When she was looking online to help a friend locate her lost cat she was compelled to make $20.00 donation to help a rescue dog save a dog.
She didn’t realize it at the time, but she was on her way to adopting her own rescue dog.
“You realize after you get involved and take a pet off the euthanasia list that the effort made possible by a network of people,” Maze said.
Maze adopted Riggs, and with him she fostered a Dachsund who she described as a “gas puppy,” referring to the method of euthanasia in some states.
Riggs was a Staffordshire terrier who Maze said was the absolute cutest dog. She said his online photo did not do him justice, but a rescue volunteer who had gotten to know Riggs by taking him on walks, advocated for him.
Over the seven years she had Riggs (he died in 2014), Maze rotated through several foster dogs helping them along their road to permanent homes.
“We fostered two Pugs, a Pomeranian and a Dachshund,” Maze said. “Don’t be scared of fostering. You really make a difference.”
Maze said fostering is a meaningful way of volunteering.
“Rather than stuffing envelopes, it’s charitable work, but it feels empowering and has been a great experience,” she said.
Maze said whether someone wants to foster or adopt, there are rescue groups like Adopt-A-Dog who can help.
In adopting Riggs she worked with Brooklyn based Heaven Can Wait, who signed for the dog at ACC of New York.
For Buster she worked with Social Tees, a foster based, a non-profit (501c3 ) no-kill rescue in New York City, and Tails of Love Animal Rescue.
And while her rescue dogs have been bully breeds, Maze said, “You can rescue any kind of dog.”
Adopt-A-Dog is located at 23 Cox Ave in Armonk, NY.
Pet Pantry Warehouse is located at 1191 E Putnam Ave, Riverside, CT 06878.