Canines And Animal Lovers Enjoy Paw-sitively Good Time At Gage Park

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TOPEKA, Kansas (WIBW) -- Helping Hands Humane Society held its largest fundraiser, Paws In The Park, Saturday morning at Gage Park.

For 17 years, Helping Hands has brought many furry feet and wet noses - and their human counterparts - out for a day of fun at the park.

From pups poised at three pounds, to giant pooches, Paws In The Park supports all shapes and sizes.

"An average annual budget is about a million dollars to take care of them," Executive Director of the shelter Bill Acree said. "We're really proud of the fact that 75 cents of every dollar given to us goes to care for the animals. We love the fact that the community responds to Helping Hands' pleas all the time."

Dog lovers could browse from booth to booth and find out about new spots to groom or train their dog. Some entered canines in competitions for best trick, best kisser, best costume, largest dog, smallest dog, and animal-owner lookalike.

Tippy, a miniature poodle, won for best trick.

"If you put your hand behind her head, she'll dance," her owner Amberly Sadler said. "My favorite thing about Tippy is that she loves me so much, she sleeps with me every night."

Organizations with a passion for rescuing and caring for animals used the chance to remind the community that for our friends with fur, it can be a dog-eat-dog world.

Jan Price runs Saving Death Row Dogs, a no-kill, non-profit rescue in Topeka.

"There's a lot more work that needs to be done in Topeka," Price said. "The answer is educating the public so that they will spay and neuter, and hopefully adopt so that someday we'll be a completely no-kill community for any adoptable dog."

Year after year, Helping Hands says the large crowds that gether in Gage Park strengthens the bond between the community and the animals.

Helping Hands raised $30,000 from Paws In The Park in 2012, and hope to pass that goal this year. The grand total will be counted in a few days.