By Steven Penn
On Saturday, the annual Dogtona event, hosted by the Hendricks County Humane Society, celebrated 10 years of bringing people and their four-legged friends together for a fun, unique day.
This year’s event ran from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Hendricks County 4-H Fairgrounds and the entrance fee was $5 per dog.
Humane Society volunteer Cameron Johnson has been a part of Dogtona since its inception 10 years ago and said the event has always been about raising money.
“It started as a fundraiser to build a county dog park,” she said. Johnson added that the first dog park was built in Avon.
Proceeds from this year’s Dogtona, she said, will go toward building a dog park in Brownsburg, but in previous years the event has helped fund other programs as well.
Johnson said the Dogtona committee was small at first, but is now a part of the Humane Society.
“The people that wanted a dog park were the first Dogtona committee,” she said. “Then we became a committee of the Humane Society because it fit in with our mission statement of strengthening the bond between humans and their pets.”
Johnson said the event has continued to grow each year.
“The first year was approximately 75 dogs,” she said. “(Now) we average around 300.”
Dogtona features a multitude of games and booths for both dogs and owners to enjoy.
Johnson said this year, a new addition to the activities was Paw Painting, which allowed dogs to create a unique piece of art for a donation that went to help fund the Humane Society’s free spay and neuter services.
Other games included the Great Lick Off, a race to see which dog could lick a spoon of peanut butter clean the fastest; Got Cheese?, which tested how far back the dogs could catch a cube of cheese; and King of the Hill, an A-frame that the dogs could walk over.
“The (King of the Hill) is only the second year we’re trying it,” Johnson said. “We didn’t know how (the dogs) would react to it, but they really like it. The rest of them have been standard games that we’ve played for a long time.”
She added that one of her favorite parts is hearing from families that came to previous Dogtonas tell her that their dogs completed a game they wouldn’t the year before.
In addition to the game stations, Dogtona also featured booths with pet-related information, a talent show, raffles, and more.
For more information on the Hendricks County Humane Society, visit its website at www.hendrickscountyhumanesociety.org or call the office at 745-3338.