Next month, dog owners are invited to the howling return of Bark in the Park, a day of fun family entertainment to spread awareness about responsible pet ownership.
On Sunday, 18 September, from 10am to 1pm, residents of the Greater Springfield area can come along with their fluffy friends – ensuring they are properly leashed up, of course – to Robelle Domain Parklands, behind the GE Building.
The event is being sponsored by Greater Springfield Veterinary and Jordan MP Charis Mullen, and follows their very successful 2019 inaugural event.
Ms Mullen said the 2019 inaugural event was “paws-itively amazing” and is excited to be bringing it back after a two-year hiatus.
Returning this year is the competition for best-dressed dog. Multiple prizes will be awarded – dogs will have to share them with their owners, of course.
Greenbank-based club Game On Flyball Racing will demonstrate to the crowd the frenetic game of flyball, in which dogs race through obstacles to fetch a tennis ball.
Other festivities include demonstrations from the Agility Dog Club of Queensland, a police canine meet-and-greet, coffee van, and a gold-coin sausage sizzle courtesy of the Rotary Club of Greater Springfield.
“‘Bark in the Park’ is an opportunity to celebrate our much-loved family pets, make some new friends and support our dog friendly community in Greater Springfield and surrounds,” Ms Mullen explained.
Tickets for Bark in the Park are available through Eventbrite. All dogs registered to attend will go in the draw for a massive dog hamper.
Greater Springfield Veterinary, Ipswich City Council, and a range of local pet organisations and businesses will be on hand to offer the latest advice about pet care, obedience, and nutrition.
Vet and nurse staff will be available on the day to guide owners through the process of updating their microchips.
“We are very fortunate to live in a community which is not only dog-friendly but where we have responsible pet ownership,” Ms Mullen said.
Event organiser Victoria Law from Greater Springfield Veterinary said the event is catered to everyone, but spreading the word about pet safety is paramount.
“The basic message is [about] providing adequate food, water, shelter, and medical care… [and] keeping the pet within local council regulations like being registered and microchipped,” Victoria said.
She commented on the proliferation of local and regional “lost pet” Facebook groups, a sign that some pets are not microchipped or the details on the chip are not up-to-date.
“Sadly it’s a dead end when the pet is handed in with no chip or out-of-date information.”
“No dogs should be let out to go for a walk without the owner [or leash], even if it’s lovely and well behaved.”
Victoria also implores that residents take the time to dog- and cat- proof their properties and make sure everything is secure.
“Dogs are getting out through faulty fencing. When we really had the big storms and flooding, some fences were coming down and dogs were getting out.”
The Council strictly advises that cats should be kept in enclosed areas at all times, whether indoors or in a specially protected outdoor area, for their own safety but also to protect native species.
Residents are also welcome to join in on a half-hour walk – beginning at 9:30am – sponsored by Vets for Climate Action, an organisation of scientists and industry specialists who draw a direct link between habitat degradation and the wellbeing of pets and local wildlife.
Victoria added that the popularity of the first event caught everyone off-guard.
“The 2019 event was very fun. It completely exploded! But this time we are more prepared for a bigger and better event!”
Bark in the Park 2022 will be held at 10am on Sunday, September 18, at Robelle Domain Parklands, at 31 Barry Alexander Drive, Springfield Central. Tickets are available through the Eventbrite website.
For all enquiries, contact the Greater Springfield Veterinary on 3288 1574 or visit springfielddistrictvets.com.au – or for the office of Charis Mullen MP, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 3447 9300.