SUMMIT, NJ — Home for Good Dog Rescue, of Berkeley Heights, held its annual “Bark-A-Que” on Saturday, Sept. 10, at Summit’s Village Green. The event consisted of vendors and contests for dogs and owners, while providing many of them a chance to reconnect with the organization. There was also an opportunity for more dogs to be adopted.
“Our annual Bark-a-Que is open to the public, and we welcome all former adopters, prospective adopters or dog lovers to come join us,” Matthew Holowienka, public relations and social media coordinator for Home for Good Dog Rescue, told LocalSource. “The day itself is entirely pet-friendly, and we always look forward to seeing the Village Green ‘go to the dogs,’ so to speak.
Bark-a-Que itself actually began as a way for us to invite back all of our adoptive families and reconnect them with our team and with their dogs’ siblings and fosters, who just love seeing how much each rescue pup they helped save has grown. However, since the event’s inception, it has truly blossomed into our largest adoption event of the year, annually placing nearly 30 dogs into loving permanent homes.”
Ellie, a dog adopted by Carly Pena, of Boonton, was at the event visiting her mother, Daisy. Pena takes Ellie to the event annually so the mother and daughter can be reconnected. She says adopting Ellie has been a very positive experience.
“She’s amazing,” Pena told LocalSource. “She’s such a good dog, and this is a great organization. I like to keep up with them. Today we visited vendors, had our picture taken and bought her some treats.”
“Each year the event gets bigger and bigger,” said Co-Founder and Treasurer of Home for Good Dog Rescue, Rich Errico. “So far we had 15 dogs get adopted today. We always have a great turnout. This year we’ve had about 2,000 people. The vendors are doing well despite the fact that the heat kept some people in this year. We started out with a DJ and now we have a band.”
The band, Deep C Revival, took the stage as people participated in events such as the Mr. and Mrs. Bark-A-Que costume contest and obstacle course. The winner of the annual “Mr. Bark-a-Que” Contest was Sampson, adopted through Home for Good in April 2015 to Frank and Kristin Silva of Scotch Plains after being saved from a kill-shelter in South Carolina. “Ms. Bark-a-Que” was a Dachshund named Lizzie. There were also meet-and-greets scheduled for adoptions.
Applications were filed as potential dog owners expressed interest in adoption.
“I adopted my dog, Millie, from Home for Good Dog Rescue,” said Mary Rose Piana of New Providence. “She’s a wonderful companion. I think dogs deserve a second chance. This is my first time attending this event. So far it’s been a positive experience.”
“This year’s Bark-a-Que will host our usual adoption tent, ‘Memory Lane,’ where we post all our photos of adoptive families; dog contests and our newest addition, a bouncy slide attraction,” Holowienka told LocalSource. “In our opinion, a dog is often a family’s final puzzle piece, and we want this year’s event to be fun and accessible for kids and adults of all ages. And I think that’s why the event has been so successful. It allows us to invite back all the families who have allowed us to come into their lives and pair them with the proper dog. And it also allows us to welcome so many new supporters to be a part of our rescue as we look forward to the future. Since our inception, we have rescued more than 4,600 dogs, and at that rate, we know we’ll hit that milestone 5,000 in no time.”