This dog-friendly scavenger hunt was for a canine-worthy cause.
Pooch lovers teamed up with their canine friends last Sunday for a fun-filled competition around puppy-centric Park Slope to raise funds for a local animal rescue organization.
The exploratory challenge, dubbed the Park Slope Dog Dash, was the first-ever fund-raiser for Foster Dogs NYC, a group that rescues pups throughout the tri-state area. Teams of humans and doggie buddies visited an array of neighborhood businesses that had donated products for the cause to search for clues and complete happy-go-lucky challenges. Participants were encouraged to raise money before the event, but only the humans did.
“It was really successful,” said Sarah Oren Brasky, the founder of Foster Dogs NYC, which she runs out of her Second Street home in Park Slope. She said the event raised more than $2,300 for the organization.
The money will allow the organization to continue holding pet adoption events, helping out animal shelters, and providing education about pet fostering. For animal lovers who can’t commit to adoption, fostering offers a way to temporarily open their homes to animals in need.
The two-hour-long hunt started and finished at Fifth Avenue’s Gate, a dog-friendly pub. The 10 teams were given a map and a unique route that led them into the participating local businesses, including Culture Frozen Yogurt, Butter Lane Cupcakes, Park Slope Copy Center, Shawn Fine Wine and Spirits, and JackRabbit Sports. The teams were required to complete small missions at each business. For example, at The Painted Pot, the teams had to decorate bowls that would be donated to foster dogs.
The fastest team and the team that raised the most money were each awarded a gift basket full of goodies from the participating businesses. But everyone walked away with a prize. The pooches all received handmade bandanas.
“It was great. My dog was super happy being in a pack of other dogs,” said Greenpoint resident Kate McGee, who attended the scavenger hunt with Jubilee, her two-year-old Yorkie-Maltese.
McGee, who once fostered a dog for two months, said that since she is not in the position to take in another pup, attending the event and raising money for the organization was the best way she can help out.
The scavenger hunt was not just about fun and games. It was also a way to raise awareness that there are other ways besides adoption to help animals stuck in shelters, said Brasky. She started Foster Dogs NYC in 2009 as a blog after she took in her first foster dog that was in danger of being killed.
Brasky said that fostering pets is crucial “because we have millions of dogs and cats getting euthanized every year in animal shelters because there are too many animals for too little space.”
“The next best thing is to take those animals out of death row and out of harm’s way,” she said.
The event, which Brasky said will continue in the future, also served as an opportunity for people with foster pups to show off their pooches to would-be adopters.Reach reporter Natalie Musumeci at nmusumeci@