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Barkers & Beggars lets dogs join Halloween festivities

A dog dressed in costume for the Barkers & Beggars trick or treating event in the Short North Arts District. Courtesy of Short North Alliance

Pups can participate in the Halloween celebration of wearing a costume and trick-or-treating in the Short North this Saturday.

Barkers & Beggars is an event in which people dress their dogs in costume and take them trick-or-treating in the Short North Arts District. The event was created by local business owners six years ago to engage the many dog lovers that visit and live in the Short North, said Betsy Pandora, executive director of Short North Alliance.

“The Short North Arts District is an incredibly dog-friendly district, and we have a lot of folks that either live around the neighborhood or business owners that are dog lovers,” Pandora said. “People really love it. Trick or treating with your dog is, I think, just about as fun as something gets.”

When participants first arrive to trick or treat, they can visit the “Pup Hub,” located at 997 N. High St., to pick up a map of participating businesses and a bag with which to collect treats. More than 22 businesses in the Short North will participate and hand out dog treats to four-legged trick-or-treaters, and some businesses will offer treats for their human companions as well.

The “Pup Hub” is also where event partners and sponsors will be located, including Columbus Humane, Growlers and PetPeople. Visitors will be able to learn more about each of these organizations, purchase dog goodies and mingle with other dog lovers.

Growlers, a local nonprofit organization, will supply some of the treats given to dogs. Growlers is known for making “all-local, all-natural” dog biscuits using spent grains from local breweries and focuses on employing individuals with disabilities, said Celeste Cantwell, vice president of operations for Growlers.

“[Founder Amy Noltemeyer] has a son who is on the autism spectrum, and he was getting to the age where it was time to look for employment options…,” Cantwell said. “She kind of heard about this idea of turning spent grain into dog bones, and she decided that would be kind of the perfect low skill employment training opportunity for people like her son.”

In addition to spreading awareness about Growlers’ mission, Cantwell said Barkers & Beggars is also a great way for dog owners to participate in an event specifically for their pet.

Two dogs dressed in costume for the Barkers & Beggars trick or treating event in the Short North Arts District. Courtesy of Short North Alliance

“People love their pets — they’re family members,” Cantwell said. “So having an event [like this] makes them feel included and gives them an opportunity to do something fun and kind of out of the box while also seeing Columbus.”

Barkers & Beggars will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. There is no participation fee, but a $5 donation to Columbus Humane is suggested upon picking up the map. Highball Halloween will continue the Halloween festivities in the Short North for humans at 4 p.m. that same day.

“The Short North Arts District is a stake piece of the Columbus community, and folks at Ohio State can think of it as their community, too,” Pandora said. “If you are a dog owner or lover, you can absolutely enjoy and have fun Saturday on High Street.”

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