Happy hour, with dogs, to benefit SPCA this Friday

You and your dog are cordially invited to a happy hour Friday, Feb. 22, in downtown Baltimore to party with and help the Maryland SPCA, and the pets are guaranteed to have as much fun as the people.

The March for the Animals Kick-Off Party for people and their dogs will be held Friday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Downtown Dog Resort & Spa, complete with beer, wine, soft drinks, snacks, pizza, an off-leash play area, and an indoor pool party just for the canines -- all for $10 in advance or $15 at the door with a suggested donation of $3 for drinks. Dogs must be fully vaccinated (but we know you wouldn't fall behind on that).

The kick-off party will launch the Maryland SPCA's 18th Annual March for the Animals, which is April 21 at Druid Hill Park. People and their dogs will walk 1.5 miles and play at a festival to help raise money needed to care for pets waiting for adoption and to offer spay/neuter services. And even if you're not up for walking, it's a great day to visit with SPCA volunteers and staff to meet adoptable dogs, enjoy a demonstration by the Mid-Atlantic Disc Dogs, receive pet training tips and low-cost microchipping, and visit a “flea-less market” of pet-themed gifts and gear. Dogs can play musical chairs and participate in a celebrity-judged costume contest as well.

To register for the March for the Animals, visit marchfortheanimals.org. To buy tickets to Friday's kick-off party, sponsored by the Downtown Dog Resort & Spa, Papa John's, and Bud Light, at the Downtown Dog Resort & Spa (200 W. McComas St, with plenty of free parking) visit mdspca.org/kickoff.

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