Hounds by the hundreds turn out for Paws in the Park egg hunt

April 13, 2019

HUNTINGTON — More than 3,000 Easter eggs, all filled with dog treats and some with prizes, were gone just a few minutes after the third annual Paws in the Park Easter Egg Hunt began Friday evening at Ritter Park.

More than 400 eager egg-sniffing dogs and their owners — a record for the hunt — showed up at the Huntington event in hopes of gathering a haul of treats and meeting the Easter Bunny. Sixty-six dogs came dressed in their Easter best for the costume contest that took place after the egg hunt.

The “Easter Best” costume contest was judged by Anna Adkins from the Cabell-Huntington Convention and Visitors Bureau, Chad Ferrell from Animal Care Clinic and Lee Ann Welch of The Herald-Dispatch.

Murphy, a medium black and white mutt (he might be part springer spaniel, but owner Michaela Bishop doesn’t really know), won most creative costume in the contest. Murphy was dressed as a “spring cleaning chicken.”

Bishop, 24, said the idea came to her when she saw cleaning supplies, a chicken plushy and a yellow shirt at the store. She was also on a budget and said she figured she could just use the cleaning supplies after the contest.

Friday was Bishop’s first egg hunt with Murphy, whom she adopted in November. The pair attended the event with their pals in the Thundering Dogs dog club from Marshall.

“We’ve all really enjoyed it and had a lot of fun,” Bishop said. “It was a great outing for us. I definitely can’t wait for next year.”

The egg hunt was a first outing for Akela, an 11-week-old gray shar-pei puppy who was born with three legs. Akela’s owners, Morgan Perry, 25, and Jacob Orlando, 30, said the egg hunt was a great way for the tripod pup to get socialized with other dogs. They also said she managed to score some treats. Though she did not place in the costume contest, Akela donned her sparkly rainbow tutu with grace.

Lauren Carte, development and recreation manager with the Greater Huntington Park & Recreation District (GHPRD), said this is one of the cutest and most wholesome events she gets to organize all year, and said it has steadily grown.

“Huntington is a really dog-loving city,” Carte said. “Everybody at (GHPRD) loves dogs, myself included, and I think it’s great to have something for the dogs to enjoy the Easter festivities. It’s just something different that you don’t see every day, and we sure have plenty of dogs around here.”

Target of Barboursville and Animal Care Clinic sponsored prizes for the event.

Follow reporter Megan Osborne on Twitter and Facebook @megosborneHD.