Whirligig Park goes to the dogs

Maggiepalooza raises funds for Maggie Society

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If you love doggos, puppers, floofers (dogs), enjoy boops (tapping a dog’s nose), puppy snuggles, listening to doggos bork and boof (bark/talk), photos with your floofer, facepainting, the chance to win a raffle, a concert by a jammin’ band … all for free … the May 4 Maggiepalooza event at the Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park will definitely seem like floofer heaven.

Building on the success of last year’s Cinco de Barko fundraiser, volunteers with The Maggie Society, a local canine rescue group, hope to raise awareness of the non-profit, do some fundraising and give the community a wholesome family event to enjoy. Maggiepalooza begins at 4:30 p.m., Triple Wide & Friends begin playing at 5:30 p.m., and everything winds down at 7:30.

“Almost everything we’re doing that day is free to the public,” said Amy Hodge, Maggie Society volunteer and fundraising coordinator. “And although sponsorships make up most of the actual fundraising, we do have opportunities for people to make donations and bid on items in a silent auction.”

Dog owners are encouraged to take their pets on leashes and take advantage of free photo portraits, a pet and owner look-alike contest, and PAWtraits painted by local artists using the actual paw prints of your pet.

“We will also have a big open corral where people can go in and lie down with a puppy,” Hodge said. “We do not offer on-site adoptions, but people are welcome to fill out an adoption application.”

Before the band begins playing, former Maggie Society dogs that have been adopted will strut their stuff across the stage, as will dogs currently available for adoption. The pet/owner look-alike contest will also take place on the stage.

Food trucks will be on-site, and Maggie merchandise and Rocky Mount’s Muttley Crew’s homemade dog treats will be for sale, as well as adult beverages that require proper ID for purchase. Silent auction items are available for preview on the Maggie Society webpage, www.maggiesociety.com.

Water stations for pets will be scattered around Whirligig Park, as will bags for dog waste.


Laurie Robl Brumfield started the Maggie Society in January of 2011, naming the rescue group after her dog, Maggie. The volunteer-run non-profit is dedicated to rescuing homeless, neglected and abandoned dogs in Wilson and surrounding areas. Rescued dogs live with foster families and receive all necessary vet care, including spaying and neutering, before being adopted out or transported to Northern partner rescue groups.

“We are getting a lot more local adopters,” Hodge said. “A lot of people see us at Pet Smart at adoption events and say they never knew we existed. We’ve grown a lot since the five years I’ve been involved, and now more and more rescue groups, shelters and individuals call us when they have dogs that need rescuing.”

The Maggie Society recently assisted the animal shelter in Craven County with a rescue that involved a dog hoarding situation.

“We had so many dogs come in that needed medical attention,” Hodge said. “We even took in pregnant dogs because other groups don’t want to take in dogs that are about to give birth.”

With the increase in the number of dogs under its care, the Maggie Society is raising money to, more often than not, cover medical bills.

“Our medical bills are outstanding,” Hodge said. “We hope to raise enough funds that lot of dogs are going to be treated for heartworms after this event. Unfortunately, so many dogs come to us heartworm positive, and the treatment is expensive and often dangerous. We also spay and neuter all dogs before adopting them out.”