Skaneateles Goes to the Dogs

Nellie came to Austin Park Sunday for a few reasons. She wanted to enjoy the fresh air and the company of others like herself. And she wanted to support a good cause.

Nellie didn't come alone. She brought along her owner, Noelle Heritage.

Nellie's a pug and she came to Austin Park to take part in the 11th annual Pet Festival and Dog Walk along with roughly 1,000 area residents. From Collies to Corgies, from snakes to parakeets, the sun-drenched sky was icing on the cake for the dog-day paradise, which ran from noon to 4 p.m.

Sponsored by the Finger Lakes SPCA, the event included demonstrations, exhibits, contests, raffles, pet vendors, face painting, caricatures, music and food, all of which went to raise money to support homeless animals at the SPCA shelter on York Street in Auburn. Last year, more than $14,000 was raised at the event. The goal was to raise $25,000.

Skaneateles Village Mayor Robert Green, who attended the event, said he was pleasantly surprised with the turnout.

"I can't believe how many people and dogs came out " Green said. "This is great for the community. We must have double what we had last year it's grown in leaps and bounds."

Skaneateles resident Marianne Angelillo, who brought her golden Labs Abby and Mavis, said the Skaneateles event was fun and was amazed at how well the dogs got along. It was by far the best dog walk she had participated in, she said.

Just call it the dog-days of May.

For more information on Finger Lakes SPCA fundraising, visit.flspca.com.

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