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Celebrating 10 Years of “Cause 4 Paws”: Hornell’s Biggest Pet Party Returns!

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Mark your calendars for June 1st, 2024, from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm, at the Jillian Andolina Dog Park

By: Johanna Elattar, photo by Syrena Lynn Carver

The Humane Society of Hornell is gearing up for its 10th annual “Cause 4 Paws” event, a beloved tradition that unites pet enthusiasts and their furry companions for a day brimming with joy, gratitude, and community spirit.

This year’s event is extra special, celebrating a decade of bringing together the Hornell community to support and celebrate their local animal shelter. Julie Johnson, the heart and soul behind “Cause 4 Paws,” has been the driving force since its inception. Julie’s journey with the Humane Society started in 2009 when she owned a pet food business, forging strong connections with the shelter. By 2014, her passion and expertise made her the perfect fit to organize fundraising events, leading to the birth of “Cause 4 Paws” to coincide with World Animal Day.

See the gallery by Syrena Lynn Carver from last years event

From its humble beginnings, including a memorable 2015 event where attendees braved chilly weather at Shawmutt Park, “Cause 4 Paws” has grown into a cherished community festival. This year’s celebration promises a fantastic array of activities for both pets and their owners.

The festivities kick off with the traditional blessing of the animals, led by Deacon Bob McCormick. Following the blessing, a pet parade will highlight the special bond between pets and their owners, culminating in a group photo to capture the spirit of the day.

Pet owners can look forward to a variety of contests: an animal talent show for pets to showcase their unique skills, a costume contest for the most creatively dressed pets, and a prize for the most unique pet – previous winners include a pair of goats that charmed the crowd.

For the younger attendees, there will be a petting zoo, face painting, and a “kids’ tent” where children can create necklaces with paw print and animal beads. Additionally, the event will feature Weiner Dog races and a hot dog bobbing contest for dogs, adding to the playful and competitive spirit of the day.

“Cause 4 Paws” also serves an important fundraising purpose. A basket auction will be held, with proceeds benefiting the shelter, along with T-shirts and other items for sale to support the cause. Essential pet services like nail trims and microchipping (offered at a nominal fee of $20) will be available to attendees.

Food vendors, including those selling ice cream and sno cones, will add to the festive atmosphere, and a food tent will provide hot dogs, chips, soda, water, and possibly popcorn. Approximately 10-12 vendors are expected to participate, ensuring a variety of delicious options.

The success of “Cause 4 Paws” relies on the hard work of about 30 dedicated volunteers who help with everything from distributing gift bags to filling water bowls. However, two more volunteers are needed to help set up tents on Friday, May 31st at 5:00 pm. Interested volunteers can simply show up at the designated time and location.

This free event is open to all, but attendees are reminded that all dogs must be vaccinated, leashed, and friendly towards humans and other dogs to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone.

As the Humane Society of Hornell prepares for this milestone celebration, Julie Johnson and her team eagerly await the community’s participation. Join them on June 1st at the Jillian Andolina Dog Park for a day filled with love, laughter, and the shared joy of supporting animals in need. Come make lasting memories with your furry friends at this special event!


Johanna Elattar is a Hornell NY based writer who loves putting the sunlight on the Hornell Area Humane Society. You can contact her anytime hauntedhill@yandex.com

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