Utica’s Puppy Parade

The city of Utica hosted a puppy parade on Saturday April 24, bringing joy to all who could witness it.

Oliver Gamez, Copy Editor

The Utica puppy parade took place April 24, 2021 at 2pm, and began at Grant park to the newly opened dog park. With about 150-200 people in attendance, many say it was community focused and welcoming. 

“The parade was cute,” sophomore Katalina Peters said. “It had free snacks and things for the walkers and the mayor spoke.”

Sponsored by the Detroit Pit Crew, Utica mayor Gus Calandrino spoke about making Utica a positive environment for animals and fighting against animal abuse and animal cruelty.

The parade came to fruition to honor national Prevention of Cruelty to Animals month.

“It was fun and supportive,” Peters said.

As there have been multiple recent incidents of animal cruelty reported to the Utica police, Calandrino felt the need to show the citizens of the city that these inhumane acts do not align with the morals Utica tries to demonstrate.

“As a response to the recent incidents of dog abuse, the city was looking for a response which would demonstrate that Utica is a city that loves, values and protects animals. We decided to adopt a resolution to declare April as Prevention of Cruelty to Animals month,” Calandrino said. “The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals started the national observance of April as Prevention of Cruelty to Animals month in 2006.”

As a community, residents of Utica decided to come together to support the event, because not only was there a good cause to support, but the residents felt like they could trust it even more as a family event for the mayor and his family all attending as well.

“I attended the parade with my wife, son, daughter, and two Boston Terriers, Ella and Lucy,” Calandrino said.

The parade began at Grant Park, near the memorial statue for the dog that was fatally attacked there years ago, and continued across Van Dyke to the new dog park, Pioneer Park.

Sponsors that supported this year’s parade offer full support for the cause and event and hope it will continue on.

“As an organization that participates in numerous animal cruelty cases in both Wayne County as well as Macomb County, it’s encouraging to see the city of Utica dedicating a day to recognize the importance of speaking up for the voiceless,” Theresa Sumpter, the executive director of the Detroit Pit Crew said. “I hope that everyone who loves animals and is against animal cruelty will come out to show their support by walking in the parade.”

The Utica Puppy Parade stands firm with its hopes to fight against in the midst of recent animal abuse cases, and not only does the city council, but the citizens as well hope that this will become an annual event.