Painting for the Pooches set for June 22


By Mike Stoll

Special to The PREVIEW

Kick off the arrival of summer with some family-friendly outdoor fun at the animal shelter and dog park on Saturday, June 22, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Painting for the Pooches is a collaborative endeavor of the Pagosa Springs Arts Council and the Humane Society of Pagosa Springs featuring painting activities for kids and fun activities for people and pets, along with an animal shelter open house. The event is open to the public and admission is free.

The inspiration for Painting for the Pooches came from members of our local arts council who have volunteered their time and talents to beautify an otherwise drab shipping container at the animal shelter. The container houses equipment that would be used during an emergency evacuation of the animal shelter, and its current industrial appearance reflects its utility and serious purpose. To our artists, however, the container represents a potential canvas for one of Pagosa’s first public art works. The goal is to bring the container to life with fun and happy images of animals, a bright reflection of the joy that pets bring to people’s lives. Painting for the Pooches will mark the start of the container’s transformation, which will continue over the summer until the work is complete.

As the container painting gets underway, other art volunteers will assist kids in creating their own works of art. Paper, paint and other materials will be available for kids to indulge their imaginations and create their own colorful renditions of pets or other animals that grab their fancy. All kids are welcome to try their hand at some artistic magic, and any art work created during the day can be signed and donated for a summer-long display at the Humane Society animal shelter and thrift store. Those kids who would like to leave an even longer-lasting impression can put a painted hand print and signature on several refurbished and brightly colored dog houses on the shelter grounds.

Attendees are welcome to bring their friendly dogs (and cats) for some outdoor fun, too. Activities include dog races, Frisbee catch, bobbing for hot dogs and a chance to try out the shelter’s agility equipment. Prizes will be awarded and there will be free drawings for pet food, toys and other great pet stuff. If your dog likes to give kisses, you can have your photo taken getting a smooch from your pooch at the kissing booth. For the enjoyment of all, pets must be kept on leash except when participating in activities inside the dog park.

If you arrive with an appetite, or work one up having fun, a food truck will be onsite to offer some delectable menu items to satisfy your hunger. Attendees can buy some good food and eat and relax in the shaded Serenity Garden while enjoying some of the best mountain views in all of Pagosa Springs.

If you’ve never visited the animal shelter and dog park, the open house is a great opportunity for a guided tour of the facility. Humane Society staff and volunteers will be glad to answer questions about the organization and the animals. You can learn more about our mission and our various community programs, including spay/neuter support, emergency veterinary care funding and our community cat trap-neuter-return program. You can also learn more about the Pagosa Springs Arts Council and watch the artists actively applying their mission of stimulating and promoting art in our community as they paint for the pooches.

So, come on out to the animal shelter and dog park at 465 Cloman Blvd. on Saturday, June 22, for a fun mix of outdoor activities, art and animals. You’ll be glad you did.