This summer, when you take your best friend to the ball game, don't buy him peanuts and Cracker Jacks. Dog biscuits will do nicely.
The Toledo Mud Hens invite dogs to join the crowd Aug. 20 in a “Dog Days of Summer” event for pets and their people. Tickets will cost $6 per pooch, in addition to the $8 person-price, for the special event sponsored by the Mud Hens and the Toledo Area Humane Society.
All the proceeds from dog tickets will benefit the shelter.
“Those of us who are dog owners, we like to take our dogs with us places,” said Susan Maxwell, the director of public information for the humane society.
Last year, 50 to 100 owners took their dogs to the game, and this year, the staff hopes to sell out the 400 tickets in section 122 to pet owners.
The special section of the stadium, with picnic tables and leg room, will keep dogs far away from anyone who might not want to be around them. Volunteers will clean up the mess from any inadvertent doggy indiscretion.
“It's like a kid,” said events coordinator Jill Harris. “They can't go for a three-hour game without needing to go to the bathroom.”
The dogs behaved well last year, she said, and owners know their dogs well enough to know how they'll interact with other dogs.
The evening will include a pet parade and a silent auction of sports memorabilia. Officials will sell 2003 calendars featuring Mud Hens players and pets, like outfielder Chris Wakeland with a kitten in his baseball glove.
Miss Harris said she borrowed the idea from some of the major-league baseball teams as a fund-raiser for the Humane Society. The non-profit animal shelter relies solely on donations and fund-raisers like the baseball game event to stay in business.
One dog owner will get to throw out the first pitch. Interested dog owners should email Amandakarnes@hotmail.com telling what makes their pet unique.