Looking up

Jasper, a dachshund terrier mix, looks up to his owner Nikki Rollison of Baltimore during a food truck rally at the Maryland SPCA's Hampden location. (Karl Merton Ferron, The Baltimore Sun / March 23, 2012)

The Maryland SPCA Food Truck Rally in Hampden on March 23 was a huge success, raising over $5,000 for the SPCA. Aileen Gabbey, Executive Director of the Maryland SPCA, said the good weather helped the popularity of the event. Additionally, the food trucks' loyal followers spread the word on social networking sites such as Facebook, resulting in a crowd of more tha 1,000 people.

"The biggest hit of the night was the dogs on parade in their little blue ‘adopt me’ capes," Gabbey said in an e-mail. "People put donations in the pockets of those capes. The dogs were great at fundraising."

One of the food truck owners even decided to adopt a dog he met that evening. Gabbey said the trucks paid a fee to be in attendance, and the SPCA raised additional funds from the puppy capes, donated beer and wine and visitors to the adoption center.

"The funds will help us treat, adopt and neuter the thousands of animals who will wind up on our doorstep this year," she said. "We receive no government or ASPCA funding, so private donations allow us to save these animals."

Gabbey said she hopes the Maryland SPCA will plan another food truck rally soon, as it was a popular event and created a feel-good atmosphere.