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It is time for the 3rd Annual Ken-BARK-y Derby

Examples of the Run With the Noses 2013 Event.
Examples of the Run With the Noses 2013 Event.
Helen Woodward Animal Center

It’s time again for the Helen Woodward Animal Center (HWAC) to celebrate their 3rd Annual Ken-BARK-y Derby – “Run with the Noses” event. It is scheduled for Friday, May 2nd and will feature 20 available orphan puppies. The event noses out the Kentucky Derby, which is just a gallop away.

While horse race fans favor the race between equine, canine lovers prefer HWAC’s clash between cute, fluffy puppies (although it is also chock full of horse-play). The event is FREE to public and will include a cheering crowd of more than 75 schoolchildren from Solana Santa Fe Elementary. The Winner’s Circle will truly be worth barking about!

Each year, Churchill Downs’ enthusiasts anxiously anticipate the annual crisp mint juleps and a view of the Twin Spires, however, at Helen Woodward, participants prefer a refreshing bowl of water. They dream of a brand new home and will “horse around” to prove it.

So, on Friday, May 2nd at 10:30 a.m., twenty available “gelding” and “filly” puppies (bearing the names of contending Derby Horses) will gear up to go nose-to-nose in the 3rd Annual “Run with the Noses” Competition in the Center’s Paddocks Arena. Rose-shaped dog biscuits and dog toys will lead them to the finish line; each pup ultimately aiming to finish in the arms of a loving family. Adopters of Ken-Barky Derby contenders will be automatically entered to win a rose-themed gift basket and a “gold cup” dog bowl.

The upcoming “Run with the Noses” Competition is part of Helen Woodward Animal Center’s on-going efforts to increase the visibility of the large number of available adoptables and to highlight the unique personalities of each canine through an event that is both fun for the puppies and for the public. This year, the Center is incorporating another important element – a lesson on the importance of adoption for more than 75 schoolchildren from Solana Santa Fe Elementary. Children, ages 10 and 11, will join the Helen Woodward Animal Center Education Instructors at 9:00 a.m. for a morning of “spectator” hat-making and derby fan sign-making along with a message about the impact of adopting and saving lives. The students will then stay to enjoy the festivities, cheering their favorites to the finish line. The attending students will also each bring a can of pet food to donate to Helen Woodward Animal Center’s AniMeals Program which provides food to the pets of home-bound elderly.

“We are incredibly excited to have so many kids joining us this year,” stated Center Education Manager Heather Disher. “We’ve noticed a real increase in the number of children who not only love animals, but also ask what they can do to help these animals. It thrills me to see the upcoming generations understanding the value of all living creatures sharing the planet.”

HWAC wishes all the Ken-BARK-y contenders that don their silks the best of luck in finding their new forever families as they head for the starting gates for the May 2nd event. No matter who comes out in front, each pup ending its race in a forever home is a lucky winner, indeed.

If you would like to attend the race, are interested in adopting, would like to make a donation, or would like more information, please contact Helen Woodward Animal Center Adoptions Department at: 858-756-4117 ext. 313, visit or stop by at 6461 El Apajo Road in Rancho Santa Fe. Check out the B-Roll of last year’s event:

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