One of the most popular promotions in Fifth Third Field history made a comeback Tuesday after a 10-year hiatus and raised more than $1,000 for animal charities.
About 150 owners brought their dogs to “Hens and Hounds Night,” presented by The Blade, said Mike Keedy, manager of special events for the Mud Hens.
Debbie Steils of Sylvania brought Wicket, her 2-year-old Shih Tzu.
“He goes everywhere with me,” Ms. Steils said.
Her long-haired dog was sporting a blue color in her fur and little dog sunglasses, otherwise known as “doggles.”
PHOTO GALLERY: Hens and Hounds night
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Tina Fry of Swanton carried Gracie Allen, a tiny 4-year-old Pomeranian, who was wearing a red-and-pink dress.
“When I heard they were going to allow dogs at a game, I said. ‘I’m there,’ ” she said. “I love taking Gracie new places.”
Proceeds from the $7 dog tickets, benefited the Toledo Area Humane Society and the Lucas County Dog Warden’s Cutie’s Fund.
Fans with four-legged friends entered Fifth Third Field through the Center Field Gate near the corner of Monroe and St. Clair streets and were seated in the home run picnic terrace, which is sections 120, 121, and 122.
The event, once called “Pooches in the Park,” was popular early on in the park’s history, but was canceled in June, 2004, because of potential liability issues involving having dogs at the ballpark. Those issues were resolved, said Mr. Keedy, who attended the event with his dog, Bomber, a long-haired Chihuahua.
Water stations, minipools, and designated restroom areas were in the dog-friendly terrace sections. All dogs received Mud Hens bandannas, and their owners received plastic bags to use in case their dogs needed to take care of business.
Cutie’s Fund, one of the two charities benefiting from the dog ticket sales, helps dogs with high-cost medical needs at the Lucas County Dog Warden’s Office.
Cutie, the Chihuahua who was adopted from the dog warden and is the namesake for the fund, attended the game and made a special appearance on the large screens in the park at the top of the seventh inning.
Volunteers from the dog warden and humane society had adoptable dogs on hand.
Queenie, a 1-year-old “pit bull” mix, who was a long-time resident at the dog warden’s before being transferred to the humane society, loved visiting with anyone who would give her a scratch on the head. She splashed around in the minipool with Ashley, a 3-year-old hound mix who is also looking for a home.
One of the dog warden volunteers was Omar Smiley, who spearheaded the last fund-raiser for Cutie’s Fund.
He raised nearly $4,300 when he collected donations before participating in the Tough Mudder competition in Michigan earlier this summer. Cutie’s Fund has raised more than $45,000 since its inception in November.
The game concluded with owners and their dogs being invited to run the bases. The Mud Hens beat the Gwinnett Braves, 5-0.