Earlier this month, the University of Minnesota’s Student Chapter of the American Veterinary Medical Association hosted its third annual Dog Olympics, a day devoted to novice canine competitions and conversations among dog lovers from across the Twin Cities. Held on April 8th at the AgStar Arena at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds, this event hosted over 500 people, including veterinary students, faculty members, rescue organizations, and dog-lovers around the area. Events ranged from the comical Mr. Ed’s Peanut Butter Race (the winner is the dog quickest at polishing off a spoonful of peanut butter), to the more challenging obstacle course, complete with poles, bridges, and hurdles. Each entry was rewarded with a participation medal, and gold, bronze, and silver medals were also awarded to the top 3 contenders. In addition to the competitions occurring on the day of the event, SCAVMA also gave incentives to attendees during the weeks leading up to the event: each week, a new Facebook competition was held for various titles such as “silliest face” or “Snuggle Bugs,” in which followers could vote for their favorite entry. Winners received free admission to the event.

In between novice competitions, SCAVMA also showcased special events from such organizations as the Minnesota Disc Dog Club and Positive Gun Dogs of Minnesota. Outside the arena, there were booths hosted by community organizations and rescues such as Underdog Rescue and MNSNAP, as well as CVM clubs like Orphan Kitten Project and VeTouch. Many of these booths were fundraising, with items for sale ranging from bowties to puppy kisses. Some rescue booths also brought dogs that were available for adoption, and provided more information about adopting from their rescue.

Admission for the event was $10, and all proceeds went to St. Paul Police K9 Foundation. The Foundation promotes positive police and community relations between the Canine Unit and area businesses, organizations, and individuals. It creates public participation in a proactive program of awareness and education about the role of K-9 officers in law enforcement. Through ticket sales and donations, over $8,000 was raised this year for the Foundation!

If you are interested in attending next year’s Dog Olympics, you can follow the event on the SCAVMA webpage, or on Facebook.  The planning committee made a great video about this year’s event that is also worth checking out! The 2017 Dog Olympics will take place next spring, and all are welcome!