‘Dogs at the Dock’ helps out animals and humans

On Friday, fireworks rocked the docks on Lake Springfield. On Saturday, the docks went to the dogs.

A group of pet-oriented small businesses and non-profits teamed up for the inaugural Dogs at the Dock event at the Lake Springfield Prop Club. It was a chance for the organizations to promote themselves over the Fourth of July weekend while also helping find good homes for pets.

Event participants had the chance to adopt pets from the Animal Protective League, buy treats and accessories for their dogs (or cats), have a bite to eat or even ride down a bouncy slide. A showing of the original “One Hundred and One Dalmatians” on a big screen was scheduled for the end of the day.

The event was the brainchild of Kristen Hughes, the owner of Courteous Canines, a Chatham-based dog behavioral center. Her goal was to promote fellow non-profits that work with dogs, cats and other animals while ensuring that some of the pets would be adopted.

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“We have been seeing a lot of dogs needing adoption, a lot more than usual,” Hughes said. “Euthanasia rates are higher, so we want to help make sure they all get adopted.”

Ariel Hughes, 7, of Chatham gets some help from Jerry Daniels of the Boy Scouts as she takes aim at an inflated archery range at Dogs at the Dock event Saturday at the Lake Springfield Prop Club.

Hughes and her friend/business partner, Macie Brown, planned the event. Brown is the president of Central Illinois Feline Rescue, a non-profit that helps provide homes for cats that would be euthanized at county pounds without the group’s help.

“I wanted to get my name out there so I could get my non-profit going,” Brown said. “We take in cats that are going to be euthanized from county pounds (and) owner surrenders. We’re foster-based, so we have homes all around Springfield, Virden and all around the area. We get them bedded and adopted.”

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