dog bark in park no attribution

The Western Carolina Dog Fanciers Association and the Jackson County Parks and Recreation Department are sponsoring Bark in the Park in conjunction with the American Kennel Club’s Responsible Dog Ownership Day.

The canine-focused event is 1-5 p.m. Sunday at Mark Watson Park in Sylva.

A low-cost microchip clinic and ID station will be among the features this year. Proceeds from this and the club’s large raffle will be donated to Jackson County Advocates for Animals, a nonprofit group that helps those in need with emergency vet bills and pet-related expenses.

This group has been particularly overwhelmed by the needs of victims of the flooding disaster in Haywood County. Attendees are invited to donate canned or kibble dog and cat food. All donated foods will be given to area Meals on Wheels recipients for their pets.

The event will  host vendors and other area rescue organizations.

Songbug Enterprises with Jeanne Nabor will emcee, with agility demos starting at 1 p.m. The event will include a yearly favorite – Joe Parham of Candler brings sheep and his talented border collies to show the teamwork between human and dog.

Attendees can meet a K9 officer from the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office showing the training that aids law enforcement in dangerous duties. Disc dogs will show off aerial and acrobatic maneuvers.

Certified therapy dog teams from Haywood County will be on hand to answer questions about training or becoming a therapy dog team. A drafting dog demo and scent work demo will be offered, as will the ever popular costume contest and other contests including “best trick,” “owner/dog look-alike” and “best kisser.” Concessions will be offered by Wulf Street Bistro of Haywood County

Admission is free. Bleacher seating is available, or bring a lawn chair. Dogs should be on a leash (no flexies) and up-to-date on vaccines.

To learn more about becoming a part of this kennel club, visit Western Carolina Dog Fanciers Association website at