Orlando’s Paws in the Park fundraiser includes Disney fun for families

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Love animals? Join Walt Disney World and other sponsors of Orlando’s Paws in the Park on Valentine’s Day weekend for some family fun that includes your furry babies.

On Saturday, Feb. 11, the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando hosts its annual event from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Lake Eola. Paws in the Park includes a pet walk, vendors, demonstrations, agility contests and a kid zone from Walt Disney World. The centerpiece of the annual event is the dog walk that serves as a fundraiser for homeless pets and other initiatives of the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando.

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Registration is ongoing now and it’s free. Participants can join as packs (a group of people who commit to raising at least $500 total) or as individuals. Walkers can even register the day of the event and do not have to have dogs accompany them to participate.

There is no minimum fundraising requirement for individuals, but incentives are given for collecting amounts from $75 to $5,000. They include such prizes as Paws in the Park T-shirts and dog bandanas; VIP access to the Dog Lure Course, Splash Dogs and Dog Agility Course; and VIP Shelter Star pins and access to the VIP reception. (Registration fees count toward fundraising totals.) This year’s top individual fundraiser will win two Walt Disney World theme-park tickets with the Park Hopper option for two days.

The walk begins at 9 a.m. with registration at 8 a.m., and the other activities go until 1 p.m. On the main stage, visitors can see the following presentations beginning at 9:05 a.m.: a “bubble release” led by Pet Loss Center to pay tribute to pets that have touched our lives; “Dogs With Jobs”; a performance by the Orlando Gay Chorus; and music by John Frank.

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Families won’t want to miss the Disney Kids and Family Zone, presented by Walt Disney World, which has interactive activities everyone can enjoy. In addition, nationally recognized company Splash Dogs will offer dock-jumping competitions, and there is a Canine Sports area.

Entrance to park is free, but there is a charge to participate in the event activities. A $20 Doggie Pass allows your pup to enjoy the Lucky Dogs Lure Course, Agility Course and the “Splash Dogs” Diving Pool at the event.

Sponsor WFTV offers these reminders:

** All pets must be at least 6 months old and have proof of vaccinations.
** Dogs only please. No female dogs in heat.
** Pets must wear a suitable collar.
** Keep your dogs on a 6-foot leash or shorter and under control at all times.
** Water for dogs will be supplied.
** Please be considerate and pick-up after your dog.
** For the enjoyment and safety of all participants, any aggressive animal will be asked to leave the park.
** Please obey all rules of Lake Eola. No swimming in the lake and no chasing the ducks or swans.


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