Getting excited about this year’s Woofstock fundraising event at Salt Springs State Park are (front) Sugar, (kneeling, from left) True Friends board vice president Anna McNamara, shelter manager Jessica Hums, board secretary Linda Lee, and (standing) board president Amy Uggiano.
Story and photo by Rick Hiduk
(originally published in the Susquehanna County Independent)
One of the biggest fundraising efforts of the year for True Friends Animal Welfare Center will return to its original location on Saturday, Sept. 23. After Salt Springs State Park was severely flooded in 2018, the organizers of Woofstock found support for the dog- and family-friendly event for several years in Wyoming County at Lazy Brook Park. But it’s headed home.
“A lot of people came from Scranton and other areas to see us there and enjoy everything we had to offer,” True Friends board president Amy Uggiano related. “But we’re happy to bring it back to Susquehanna County.”
“There’s a lot of people right here who support the shelter,” added True Friends board vice president Anna McNamara. “If not for the flooding, it would never have been moved.”
Woofstock will be held at Salt Springs State Park from 1 to 5 pm on Sept. 23 and will feature a variety of food and other wares offered by nearly 20 local vendors and artisans. Human guests will find an array of pet supplies, information on pet boarding, games, opportunities to win prizes through a basket raffle of donated items, and 50/50 ticket sales. A local K-9 police unit will also offer a demonstration.
For the four-legged participants, there will be free nail clipping and samples of dog treats. And every dog attending will receive a tie-dye, psychedelic bandana to celebrate the theme of Peace Love & Drool.
There’s plenty for pet owners and their furbabies to enjoy together, as well, including a photo booth, training sessions, and meeting other dogs brought by True Friends that are available for adoption. All attendees can swing and sway to live music by the John P. Williams Blues Band (above) and Carolina Moonlight (below), a regional duo that plays modern country hits.
“The park is absolutely beautiful. We hope that people will take the time to go for a walk,” Uggiano said in reference to miles of improved trails at Salt Springs. She, fellow board members, and True Friends staff look forward to meeting new and returning pet owners, especially those bringing “alumni” dogs to the event.
“A lot of people have adopted from the shelter and like to bring their dogs back to see us,” Uggiano noted. “We love to hear their stories. Sometimes they tell you about losing a pet but then adopting another animal from True Friends that changed their lives.”
“I love seeing all of the adopted animals coming back with people who support the shelter,” said True Friends manager Jess Hums. “The fundraiser is a huge deal for us to keep us running.”
“And cat people like to attend too,” True Friends board secretary Linda Lee pointed out. Everyone agrees that the food offerings are top notch, with pierogies being among the resounding favorites.
Admission to Woofstock is $10 for humans 13 and older and free for children and leashed dogs. Salt Springs State Park is located at 2305 Salt Springs Road, accessible from both routes 167 and 29, north of Montrose. True Friends Animal Welfare Center is located on Rt 706, east of Montrose. Readers interested in adopting pets and supporting True Friends’ mission of giving animals a safe refuge and hope for a second chance can follow the organization on Facebook and at truefriendsrescue.com.
True Friends Animal Welfare Center has been immortalized on a Crate Sportsman race car owned by driver Kamdin Maby of Susquehanna. The car will be at Salt Springs State Park as part of the Woofstock festivities on Sept. 23.