Children and dogs smiled for the camera inside a plane brought to the event by the Scarborough Armed Forces Career Center. Left, pets had their paws sponged with paint and pressed onto canvas to create personalized artwork for their owners at the Loyal Companion block party. (Malcolm Higgins courtesy photos)

SCARBOROUGH — Loyal Companion, a pet supply and nutrition store, hosted a block party to celebrate its grand re-opening on Saturday, July 13.

Local businesses, vendors, non-profits, and the Scarborough Fire Department set up tables at the event, giving out information, samples, and freebies to event attendees.

Pet-friendly activities included dog paw painting, where dogs pressed their paws into sponges full of paint and stamped them onto canvases to create personalized art for their owners, and dog “tattoos,” which were applied to the dog’s fur to leave them with colorful paw print art.

About 250 people attended the event.

Store Manager Patricia Crawford said the store recently downsized and reopened. The store’s location used to be a Pet Life.

“We’re thanking our customers for sticking with us,” Crawford said. “We got our neighbors together to do it block party style. Restaurants, rescues, and businesses showed up to help out.”

Advertisement

Loyal Companion store Manager Patricia Crawford holds one of the kittens available for adoption from the North Florida Rescue Maine Chapter at the July 13 block party. Four kittens were adopted at the event. (Malcolm Higgins courtesy photo)

Wild Birds Unlimited is in the Payne Road Plaza, often simply called the Cabela’s Plaza, alongside Loyal Companion. They’re a bird food and feeder supply store, and their 15-year anniversary fell on the same day as the Loyal Companion block party.

“We’ve joined forces today, and they gave our first 100 customers gift cards,” Crawford said.

Perks Beer and Beverage is a retail beer and wine shop located next door to Loyal Companion.

“We donated gift cards to the event to be a part of their raffle,” owner Jason Perkins said.

To enter the raffle, customers donated money to various animal rescues.

Pet nutrition vendors Primal Pet Foods, Rawz, and Earthborn Holistic Pet Food gave out samples at the event. Rawz donates 100 percent of its profits to providing service dogs and to spinal cord injury and traumatic brain injury funds.

Advertisement

The event also had food for humans. “Otherwise, our customers would leave with food for their pets, and empty bellies themselves,” Crawford said. “Dunkin’ Donuts donated coffee and pastries, and Portland Pie’s owner, Sean Owen, is outside working the pizza tent.

Owen said Portland Pie tries to support all its neighbors at the Payne Road Plaza.

The Maine Chapter of the North Florida Rescue was at the event with two litters of kittens.

“We rescue from the high-kill shelters of the Florida Panhandle,” Cindy Paine of the organization said. “Four kittens found homes at today’s event.”

Leah Twitchell, owner of Canine Movement Lab, ad a table at the event and gave out information on her nontraditional training methods. She “channels dog’s primal energy to create emotional healing” and get to the core of stress response behaviors.

Also present was the Animal Welfare Society of West Kennebunk, represented at the event by Kaylyn Schneider.

Advertisement

“We’re a full-scale shelter and clinic. We offer behavioral training and youth programming,” Schneider said. “We have a program called Rescue Readers where kids come in and read to the animals. It’s adorable, and the cats love it.”

Next to her was the Greyhound Placement of Maine.

Volunteers with the organization brought three of their own Greyhounds to spread information and bust myths surrounding Greyhound adoption.

“A lot of people believe Greyhounds require a ton of space to run around and need constant exercise,” Glenn Pieri said. He motioned to two Greyhounds, Cinnamon and Geddy, who were sprawled out and napping on blankets. “You can see they aren’t really a high energy breed.”

All the dogs Greyhound Placement of Maine places are former racing dogs.

Set up outside was Maine K9 Vests, an organization that donates personalized bulletproof vests to working police dogs.

Advertisement

“Me and my wife, Nicole Robichaud, and our kids, started this in 2009,” Wayne Robichaud said.

The vests come with a first-aid kit, portable water bottle, leash and collar. They cost about $1,000, and aren’t always funded by taxes, Wayne Robichaud said.

Firefighters Tim Larson and Sean Goodine of the Scarborough Fire Department, also had tables at the event to give out information on fire safety for pet owners.

“Keep flames and lamps out of your dog’s reach,” Larson said.

“A lot of dogs like to chew cords. Keep them where they can’t get to them,” Goodine added.

The pair also gave out stickers for pet owners to place on windows to indicate the numbers of animals in the home so that, in case of emergency, responders can save the pets.

Advertisement

Sergeant Hutzley and Sgt. Moore, of the Scarborough Armed Forces Career Center, also attended the block party.

“Loyal Companion is our neighbor, so we came to support them,” Hutzley said.

The pair brought out a plane which read “United States Air Force.”

Children and dogs alike climbed in to have their pictures taken.

Loyal Companion said the event was so popular, they may do it again next year.

The next scheduled event is its fifth annual Dog Days of Summer pet food drive on Friday, July 26.

Evelyn Waugh can be reached at [email protected].

Comments are not available on this story.