Dog vaccine

The history of the annual Wienerspiel dog race

Wienerspiel kicks off its annual dog race this Saturday, October 15. President Judy LeUnes told KAGS TV how the project got started.

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, many people have turned to furry friends for companionship. Once guidelines eased and owners returned to work, animals began to return to shelters as owners found themselves spending more time in the office and less time at home.

The easing of restrictions ended up having its own effects on local shelters, making many shelters already overcrowded beyond their estimated capacity.

To bridge the gap, an annual dog race was started in 2007 by Texas native Judy LeUnes, who brought sausage dog races to College Station. She hoped her impact would leave a paw print and help dogs get adopted.

“It was a depressing time because we were so excited that the shelters were emptying out and everyone was getting an animal and now that’s not the case anymore,” LeUnes said.

After rescuing two dachshunds and testing their speed, Wienerspiel was born. Wienerspiel is a non-profit organization that helps raise funds for homeless, unwanted and neglected dogs. Taking place on Sunday, October 16, it will host Wienerspiel at the Wolf Creek Amphitheater in College Station. Dogs must have all their vaccinations up to date to enter.

It’s a sausage training camp where you can allow your pooches to train up to the main event that day. A costume contest will be held at noon and the dog race will begin at 1 p.m.

“Then four years ago I decided, after raising money for an organization, to go my separate ways and start Wienerspiel,” LeUnes said. “I did it out of love for the breed and I had to have something to pet.”

She shared how it was her way of putting a spin on animal rescue.

“All animals need love, they all give so much, so we wanted to host an event that would include the community, still be free for families, and help animals of all kinds.”

So get your pooches and purses ready, because you can donate to help more other nonprofits clean up animal shelters.

“So it’s just fun, it’s just fun, it’s about feeling good. We’re not telling horrible sad stories, we’re not trying to raise money for it. We just want that everyone learns that there are many groups out there trying to help homeless animals and help get them the care they need,” LeUnes said.

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