Dog health fair a walk in park

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Both dogs and their owners were able to socialize in the park on a beautiful summer day at the 5th annual Taggin’ Waggin’ Pet Fair on Saturday, June 1.

The event was held at O’Kane Park, and offered dog owners a chance to get vaccinations and licenses for their pets, check out booths by local pet businesses and organizations, and get to know other owners.

“This is really a great turnout for this event,” said Ward 2 councilman Scott Koop, who was on hand as part of the O’Kane Park Neighborhood Association. “Every year we hold this event, it gets bigger.”

According to Bonnie Martin, animal control officer with the Lakewood Police, Taggin’ Waggin’ started as a way for residents to get their dogs vaccinated and licensed in one place, and has grown from there.

Now the Lakewood Police K-9 Team does demonstrations and businesses like K-9 Castle, Chuck and Don’s Pet Food and Leashes by Liz all take part in the event. Veterinarians from SpayToday are also on hand to give people information about spaying and neutering their animals.

“It was really important to us that we keep the prices for vaccinating and licensing reasonable,” Martin said. “This way people can keep their dogs healthy and stay under budget.”

For dogs to be licensed in Jefferson County they must have their rabies shots, but at the event they could also get several other vaccinations and get microchiped, if the owners wanted to.

According to Marina Wilson, office administrator with SpayToday, usually several hundred animals get vaccinated throughout the day.

“We get people who show up every year to get their animals vaccinated and renew their licenses, and we get new people every time too,” she said. “We try to do events like this in places where people need the service.”

As a city, Martin said Lakewood does pretty well when it comes to license compliance, but there’s always room for improvement. She also added that not only are the vaccinations the law, but they keep the dogs healthy.

Resident Cindy Mangialomini brought her pitbull puppy Malachi to get the dog its rabies shot and get it registered.

“This is a great event for the community and for the dogs,” she said.