Earth Day shared with furry friends in Rangeley

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RANGELEY — Cold, drizzling rain and a light, bitter breeze didn’t discourage Carla Kingston and her cat, Sassy, from enjoying a milelong walk down the streets of Rangeley on Saturday — especially since Sassy was warm and dry in her stroller.

Kingston and Sassy were joined by approximately to 50 other walkers and their pets to celebrate the Rangeley Lakes Chamber of Commerce and Rangeley Health and Wellness’ first annual Best Dog on Earth Day event.

“I decided to come out and support the animals,” Kingston said. “Even though I don’t have a dog, I can still walk my cat.”

Half the proceeds from the event were donated to the Franklin County animal shelter, in the amount of roughly $150. The other half was divided evenly between the two above host organizations.

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“April is typically between seasons for us — winter is winding down and spring has not quite appeared,” said Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Karen Ogulnick. “We wanted to create a new event that would be fun for folks in our community and surrounding areas. The Rangeley Lakes Chamber of Commerce and Rangeley Health & Wellness worked together to come up with the idea of a fun run/walk along with your dog.” 

In addition to the walks, which varied in distance from 1 to 3 miles, were dog-themed contests, raffles and booths offering pet-related services.

Allison Steward of Pampered Paws, which provides obedience training, grooming and sitting, was offering ear cleaning and tooth brushing to furry attendees. She brought along Finn, a golden retriever puppy, to demonstrate her aptitude for training.

The Franklin County animal shelter was represented inside the Chamber of Commerce by Director Kevin Egers and animal control technician Katie Chapman, who offered nail trims, microchips and flea and tick treatments, along with information about adoption.

Amanda Davis of the Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust was there passing out information about the many pet-friendly trails in the area.

“(It’s) a fun event that brings the community together, promotes physical activity, supports animal adoption and provides educational information about protecting the environment,” Ogulnick said. Additionally, she hopes the event will promote local businesses, which donated items for the raffle prize and provided discount coupons.

Ogulnick and Megan Vryhof, chairperson of the Chamber’s events committee, were very excited about the turnout of their event’s first year.

“We said if we got 25 (registrants) we would be ecstatic,” Ogulnick said. “Even in this weather, we got close to 50.” 

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Carla Kingston of Portland walked the one-mile route with her cat, Sassy, in Rangeley on Saturday during the Best Dog on Earth Day event.

Allison Steward and her puppy, Finn, were at the Rangeley Chamber of Commerce during the Best Dog on Earth Day event on Saturday to promote her business, which provides obedience training, grooming and pet-sitting services.

Katie Chapman, left, and Kevin Egers of the Franklin County Animal Shelter were in the Rangeley Chamber of Commerce during the Best Dog on Earth Day in Rangeley on Saturday to provide adoption information and microchipping and nail-clipping services.

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