This week, staff writer Maggie Westerman talks with Kevin Young about the second HOWL-o-ween Pet Parade and Fundraiser.


Professional background: Navy veteran and 35-year Postal Service employee

Title: Co-founder and vice president of PAWsitively for the Animals

Q: Where did the parade idea come from?

A: My wife and I have always dressed up our dog, Ruby, in costume for Halloween for her training class with Alan Finn’s Designing Dogs. When we saw how many others in class enjoyed dressing up their pets, we decided to create our own HOWL-o-ween Pet Parade and Fundraiser to raise money for our nonprofit organization.

Q: How will the proceeds be used?

A: All proceeds will benefit PAWsitively for the Animals, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization located in Scranton. The proceeds will go directly toward stocking our four-legged food bank, our pet emergency fund and our low-cost spay/neuter program. One of our main goals is to help keep pets with their owners and out of shelters. We do this by helping to provide the basic necessities for pets like food and medical care to those individuals who cannot otherwise afford it.

Q: What is your fundraising goal?

A: Our fundraising goal for this event is $3,000.

Q: Are all pets welcome?

A: All pets are welcome as long as the pet is on a leash, under control at all times and owners clean up after their animals. Besides dogs and cats, in the past we have had a duck, chicken and skunk enter the parade.

Q: What else can guests enjoy?

A: Aside from the parade, there will be a basket raffle, a 50/50 raffle, a variety of different vendors and a food truck. After the parade and during judging, there will be a K-9 demonstration by Alan Finn’s Designing Dogs of Old Forge. Our judging this year will again be by WNEP-TV’s Kerry Brazen, Ally Gallo and Peggy Lee. Prizes will be $100 for best overall plus four $25 prizes given in the categories of funniest, cutest, scariest and most original.

Q: Why is community support crucial?

A: Without the support of the public, there would be no PFTA, as we operate solely on the donations of the community we serve. The money we raise at these events allows us to continue our mission and help many pets in our community stay with their families in their own homes. We are very proud to serve our local communities, and their support thus far has been tremendous.

If you go

What: HOWL-o-ween Pet Parade and Fundraiser

When: Sunday, Oct. 20; registration, noon to 1:45 p.m.; parade, 2 p.m. Judging, prizes and raffle drawings follow the parade.

Where: Schimelfenig Pavilion at Nay Aug Park, 500 Arthur Ave., Scranton

Details: Registration costs $5 per pet for the parade and can be done on-site only. There is no charge to watch.