Pup-A-palooza plays to big crowd

Big dogs, little dogs, boxers, spaniels, dachshunds.

For dog lovers, Maryville College was the place to be earlier this month. Organized by Maryville students Amber Gray and Mary Brafford, the school staged a Pup-A-palooza on its grounds, inviting students, faculty and members of the community at large to bring their dogs to the campus for a day of games and door prizes.

A fund-raiser for the Smoky Mountain Animal Care Foundation, the event was everything the school had hoped for and then some, Maryville dean of students Vandy Kemp said.

“It was good, better than we expected,” she said. “The weather was great, and we had a wide variety of dogs.”

Between 175 and 200 pet owners were on hand by mid afternoon. Admission was free, with donations to the foundations accepted to help fund the new Blount County Animal Center. The success of this month’s event already has planners looking at a Pup-A-palooza II.

“We’d like to make it at least twice a year,” Kemp said, “one in April and one in October.”

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