AIMING TO RAISE public awareness about pet ownership, Downs Park will play host to a "Bark in the Park" from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 23.
The idea for the program came from Stacey Bishop, a ranger - and unofficial animal ranger - at the county park.
"I love animals; I have all of my life," Bishop said.
Bishop thinks most people love animals. Unfortunately, some are not well informed about the animals they choose as pets. Cute puppies and cuddly kittens mature into dogs and cats with daily needs and behaviors that may sour the bond between human and pet. And many of the animals wind up in shelters, with few finding their way into new homes.
"More people would adopt a pet if they knew where to go to get the right information," Bishop said. "We hope that the program will give people a good idea where to get that information."
The park "bark" will feature representatives from area animal adoption and rescue groups, as well as owners with pets from breed-specific dog and cat clubs. And there will be lots of information available on how and where to adopt a homeless pet.
Participants in the event include the SPCA of Annapolis, Greyhound Rescue, Pets on Wheels, German Shepherd Rescue, Maryland Chesapeake Bay Retriever Rescue and the K9 Training Group from Upper Marlboro.
"These volunteer groups specialize in recycled pets, so they have a lot of information to pass onto the community," Bishop said. "We are also interested in any other pet rescue groups that may be out there looking to share adoption information with the community. Just give me a call."
Admission to the program is free, but there is a $4 entry fee for vehicles lacking an annual pass.
Political surf and turf
The Stoney Creek Democratic Club will hold a political fund-raising crab feast and bull roast from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday at its clubhouse, 8123 Fort Smallwood Road.
Tickets are $27 and include steamed crabs, pit beef, a deli buffet, desserts and beverages.
Information: 410- 255-4611.
Church rally Sunday
Marking the end of summer and resumption of fall activities and worship schedules, several area churches have scheduled "Rally Day" events on Sunday.
Jenkins Memorial Church in Riviera Beach will have a Rally Day homecoming after its 10 a.m. worship service on Sunday.
The event includes a potluck luncheon and music performed until 4 p.m.
The congregation will begin its fall worship service schedule Sept. 17. Adult and children's choir rehearsals will resume, as well as hand bell practice and Bible study programs.
Pasadena United Methodist Church will hold a Rally Day picnic at 1 p.m. in the Arcadia Pavilion at Downs Park, following the 10:30 a.m. worship service at the church at 61 Ritchie Highway.
Fall Sunday school classes for all ages resume at 9:15 a.m. and the enrichment Sunday school at 10:30 a.m.
Bring a covered dish, salad or dessert to the picnic to share. Information: 410-647-3090.