Oberlin Doggie Doo Festival Returns After Seven Year Hiatus

The Oberlin Doggie Doo, an event where people can interact with rescue animals and donate for their care, was held in Tappan Square last Saturday. The event hadn’t occurred since 2015 due to a lack of volunteers, but it had ran for 10 years prior to that. Over the last 18 months, Margo Fox, organizer of this year’s festival, met with Laurie Wilbur, president of Partners With Paws, a non-profit animal rescue, to assess everything that was necessary for the festival. They met once a month and focused on sponsorships, volunteers, and obtaining a city permit.

“For me, [it was important] being able to raise the money that we did for the homeless animals, being able to have that kind of exposure for the rescue groups [and] bringing back something to their community that they missed,” Fox said. “And being a new Oberlin resident … I had to really get out there and put myself out there to get this done, and so that forced me to meet a lot of new people.”

The festival itself began at 10 a.m. with guest speaker and former Channel 9 news anchor Denise Zarrella, who presented a poem and talked to the crowd about her rescue dog, Rosie. At 11 a.m., the Lorain County Sheriff’s Department put on a canine demonstration. Other activities consisted of a pet and human costume contest, an array of animal-themed vendors, and a raffle draw to wrap up the day.

“[The Oberlin community] loved the Doggie Doo in the past,” Fox said. “Everyone loves dogs [and] they love being in Tappan Square — it’s a beautiful spot for anything, really. When it got canceled, I think a lot of people were bummed, and so when people heard that it was coming back, I didn’t have a single person not be excited about it.”

Aside from the community impact, the festival also raised money that will go toward animals in need, with a significant portion of the funds allocated to Partners With Paws.

“[Wilbur] sees where the need is and then puts her money and her energy [toward] that goal,” Fox said. “It’s a neat program because it’s like, ‘What do we need right now?’ and [Wilbur] makes it happen. What I plan to do is donate the money from The Doggie Doo to her cause.”

Fox herself has personal experience with rescue animals: she has a Great Dane named AJ that she rescued from a puppy mill breeder. She adopted AJ through the Tuscarawas County Humane Society two summers ago.

“She’s my pride and joy, and I’m literally obsessed with her,” Fox said. “If you have a rescue animal, you know that they just love you so much [and] they somehow know you’ve saved them. She’s so loyal and kind and loving, and you would never know that she came from such a traumatic background.”