Westport is no stranger to dog doings. It took years to decide that, during certain months of the year, Fido could run off-leash on certain areas of the beach.
Many Westporters today call Winslow Park “the world’s most expensive dog run.”
A new canine controversy may dog us this weekend.
First, some background.
A little over 2 years ago, several residents formed Westport Animal Shelter Advocates. Their mission was to raise awareness of Westport Animal Control — a no-kill shelter that cares for lost and abandoned dogs — and rally support for a renovation project.
The group also hoped to stop a proposed joint venture between the Connecticut Humane Society — a kill shelter — and Westport Animal Control.
WASA went on to fund construction of outdoor runs at Westport Animal Control, and purchased a washer/dryer for the facility. They’re in the process of installing an alarm system, and spaying, neutering and vaccinating animal control dogs.
WASA volunteers handle press releases for the dogs, and provide supplemental walks and socialization.
Last year, WASA sponsored a very successful fundraiser: A Westport Top Dog Contest and show.
The 2nd annual event is set for this Saturday (Oct. 23, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.), at the grassy area next to the Compo Beach basketball courts.
Dogs will compete in categories like Top Kisser, Top Tail Wagger and Top Face Only a Mother Could Love. A silent auction features sports tickets and memorabilia, jewelry, cookware and more. Joey’s provides lunch.
Not much to bitch about, right?
On the very same day, the Connecticut Humane Society is holding an event (12-3 p.m.), at their Post Road facility. They’re advertising pet adoptions, pet portraits, a doggie costume contest, and a pet/owner lookalike contest.
The WASA people aren’t pointing fingers — but they sure aren’t wagging their tails in delight. They hope the fact that 2 organizations run similar events on the same day is just a coincidence — but no one is sure.
There is plenty of confusion in town. Many residents believe the Humane Society is actually Westport Animal Control. In fact, Westport Animal Control — a division of the Police Department — is town-owned and run. It’s located on Elaine Road, off Bridge Street near the boat ramp.
WASA’s Top Dog contest is being held at Compo Beach. That’s a lot easier to get to than the no-kill Westport Animal Control. But it’s still not as visible as the Connecticut Humane Society’s building on the Post Road — just up the hill from CVS.
If you want to go to the Humane Society shindig on Saturday, go.
If you want to go to WASA’s Top Dog contest, go there instead.
But don’t confuse the 2. Even if the Humane Society maybe — just maybe — hopes you do.