Howl-o-ween pet parade opens doors for pet adoption

Story by Amy Turner, Staff writer

Photo courtesy of Brock Kirk/The News

The world and college students in particular have an affinity for tiny fur creatures. Puppies are no exception. Sigma Alpha Iota banked on puppies to bring a crowd to their October fundraiser and several furry friends showed up and did just that.

On Sunday afternoon, Oct. 22 the Sigma Alpha lota hosted a fundraising event called Howl-o-ween in the Quad organized by Tayleur Stephens, junior from Belleville, Illinois.

A Facebook page was started by Stephens to promote the event not only to the student community but to the City of Murray as well. Local businesses also got involved by donating prizes for the pet costume contest. Other promotional efforts included chalking up the sidewalk from the Curris Center to the Quad where the event was held.

The event was made up of a parade route for pets to walk, prizes as well as giveaways for costumed pets, but the main attraction of the Howl-o-ween pet parade were the puppies brought from The Humane Society of Calloway County. The Human Society brought six puppies that were up for adoption in hopes of finding a suitable home and raising support for the Humane Society and shelter.

This event was the brainchild of Stephens who came up with the idea last semester and has been planning for it since August. She said her goal for the event was to have a halloween themed fundraiser that everyone could enjoy.

“Everyone loves dressing up their pets,” Stephens said.

Even though rain was predicted during the outdoor event, the gloomy weather held off and made for the perfect, cloudy backdrop for this spooky event.

Some pet costumes displayed in the pet parade included an Old English Shepherd in a cow costume as well as Lola the loofa. There also was a chihuahua cruising around in a hotdog costume.

The event gathered attendees who saw it advertised online as well as students who were just walking through campus and stopped to join in the fun. One such student was Kailyn Andrews, freshman from Paducah, Kentucky. She and her roommate along with another friend were enjoying a walk around campus when they noticed the puppies from the Humane Society.

“Puppies make me happy,” Andrews said. “How many days of the year do I get to walk up to a horde of puppies?”  

Kathy Hodge, Director at The Humane Society of Calloway County said she received an email asking if they were interested in participating in Howl-o-ween and bringing puppies.

She said after several adoptions, they thought they wouldn’t have any puppies left to bring but in the last three days they gained seventeen new pups to find homes for.

Currently, at The Humane Society, there are twenty puppies looking for homes that can be found on the website forthepets.org.

Ben Elliot, freshman from Franklin, Kentucky was present at the event and spoke out about adopting from The Humane Society.

“If you say you don’t want a puppy, you are lying, ” said Elliot.

Six student volunteers from the Humane Society helped with the event and puppies from The Humane Society. Applications to volunteer are also located on their website.

“We are always looking for volunteers,” Hodge said. “The Murray-Calloway County Animal Shelter is separate from us [the Humane Society] and they also could use volunteers to help socialize the dogs.”