Inaugural Dogtoberfest raises funds for Animal Birth Control Clinic

Wacoans and their furry friends came together for an inaugural Dogtoberfest benefiting the Animal Birth Control Clinic in front of the Waco Hippodrome Saturday.

Austin Avenue was blocked off and filled with entertainment from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Local pet-friendly vendors, a bouncy house and doggy photo booth and, of course, human food were all part of the event.

Music like “Who Let the Dogs Out?” by Baha Men to traditional polka music, which fit the German festival theme, was blasted through speakers as the event kicked off and left smiles on most of the attendees’ faces.

Hillsboro twins Brittany and Samantha Meeks go to school in Waco and attended the festival with Brittany’s dog. Even though he has been neutered, Brittany said they came to see his daycare that had a booth set up.

“I feel it’s a good opportunity for dogs to be able to get out of the house,” Brittany said.

Waco native and Baylor graduate Carrie Kuehl serves as the executive director of the Animal Birth Control Clinic and said the Hippodrome reached out to her in hopes of raising funds for the clinic. All of the proceeds from the event will be donated to the clinic.

The clinic has been around since 1971, beginning spaying and neutering in 1988. Kuehl said that it has expanded from being open one day a week and performing eight surgeries a day to five to six days a week and performing 72 surgeries last Friday.

“I love the clinic and the clinic’s work because it improves the quality of life for each pet, each family, each neighborhood and our entire community,” Kuehl said.

Affordability is the key for the clinics’ operation, and for the community. The well-being of the pets is also a major focus the clinic.

The clinic’s mission statement said its affordable spay, neuter and healthy pet services were implemented to promote responsible, lifetime pet ownership and save the lives of the animals.

Kuehl often reflected these ideas when speaking of the clinic.

“It [the clinic] makes it [the community] safer and just healthier overall, so I like that it’s got a lot of benefits,” Kuehl said. “… it’s [a] really efficient use of donor funds because you impact that pet for life with just a simple surgery or vaccination or heartworm prevention.”

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