Poochapalooza done due to lack of volunteer help

MARYSVILLE – It looks as if Marysville Poochapalooza’s run has come to an end.

After 12 years, members of the nonprofit Marysville Dog Owners Group that puts on Snohomish County’s biggest dog event said they are sadly canceling the July 13 event due to lack of volunteers.

The event draws about 4,000 people each year to give them and their dogs the fun day out that they deserve, ranging from pet contests and dog races to an adoptable pooch fashion show, demonstrations and dozens of vendors. M-DOG President Doug Buell said the group has plenty of great volunteers to pull off Poochapalooza on event day itself, but lacks enough help beforehand to make it happen.

“If there is a dog lover out there who really doesn’t want to see this event go away please contact me” at 425-308-2716, Buell said.

Buell and his wife, Leslie, who founded the event, said they have other community involvement and outdoor recreational activities they want to pursue close to retirement; both work full-time.

“Too many weekends become more hours spent pre-planning and coordinating activities related to Poochapalooza, such as attracting sponsors and vendors (food, pet supplies, etc.), getting raffle baskets donated, web and media work, advertising and promotion, recruiting volunteers and more,” Buell said.

“We’re huge dog lovers, and we love doing Poochapalooza, but the event needs a new champion to step up and take over,” he said, announcing the cancellation Wednesday.

This year’s event lost some longtime M-DOG members who have been critical contributors and exhibitors on event day, Buell added. The event celebrated its best year last July when David Frie, “America’s Dog Guy” and NBC National Dog Show voice and analyst, was a special guest.

Buell pointed out that part of the problem is the overall decline in members and involvement that is hurting nonprofits and service clubs everywhere. He said M-DOG has about 20 members, but only about eight are active. M-DOG will still carry on the work of maintaining the city’s dog park, Strawberry Fields for Rover Off-Leash Park, in partnership with the Marysville Parks, Culture and Recreation Department.

And, Buell said, M-DOG hopes to do a couple of smaller, less labor-intensive fundraisers during the year.

M-DOG members said they haven’t completely ruled out the event in the future. Even though it’s going on hiatus this year, it could return if it gets the support to back it, Buell said.