Most MiLB teams and several MLB teams have Dog Days at the Ballpark, where our four-legged friends are invited to partake of baseball splendors and ballpark franks while not causing too much of a mess. Two teams — the Trenton Thunder and the Northwest Arkansas Naturals — take love for the pooches one or two steps further. A look at two unique promotions involving canines.
Most MiLB teams and several MLB teams have Dog Days at the Ballpark, where our four-legged friends are invited to partake of baseball splendors and ballpark franks while not causing too much of a mess. And many baseball front offices will have a dog or two around all day long, even helping out on the field; Miss Babe Ruth is a fixture at Greensboro Grasshoppers (Low Class A; Sally League) games both on and off the field. But two teams — the Trenton Thunder and the Northwest Arkansas Naturals — take love for the pooches one or two steps further.
In Trenton, a popular promotion at Trenton Thunder (Class AA; Eastern League) games is the "Dog of the Day," where the team raises awareness for homeless dogs by showcasing them at the ballpark during each game in conjunction with its title sponsor NorthStar VETS.
The "Dog of the Day" program, now in its fourth season, has been incredibly successful in raising awareness and finding homes for homeless dogs. At all 71 Thunder home games, a different "Dog of the Day" is paraded around the field in front of the crowd and a description of the potential pet is read over the public address system. Fans are invited to "meet" the dog in person or to pick up a flyer at the AAA Guest Services Center on the concourse. After the game, the dog's picture is posted on the "Dog of the Day" page on trentonthunder.com. The picture links to the shelter's website so people can learn more about that dog as well as others that are up for adoption.
The Thunder and partner animal shelters believe that at least 20 "Dogs of the Day" have been adopted each year. The program is operating virtually the same in 2010.
“NorthStar VETS is excited to continue to work with Trenton Thunder and local shelters to find loving homes for pets,” said Nicole Tassinaro, Client Services at NorthStar VETS. “With our new facility coming this Fall to Robbinsville, we plan on continuing to reach out to the community and their pets by providing them with the highest quality care and advanced knowledge in the practice of veterinary emergency and specialty medicine.”
The Thunder are now inviting local animal shelters to contact program coordinator Patience Purdy at firstname.lastname@example.org or 609-394-3300 ext. 104 if they would like to participate in the Dog of the Day.
"The Dog of the Day has already done so much to raise awareness about the number of animals that are in need of loving homes," said Patience Purdy, Thunder Director of Community Relations. "We are thrilled to have Northstar VETS involved in the program again this season and we're hopeful even more people will get new pets because they met them here."