The city of Utica will be hosting a puppy parade April 24 in honor of national Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month. The city had a similar event when the Utica Dog Park was opened to the public for the first time last September.

The city of Utica will be hosting a puppy parade April 24 in honor of national Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month. The city had a similar event when the Utica Dog Park was opened to the public for the first time last September.

Photo provided by Gus Calandrino


Utica to host puppy parade during Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby - Utica News | Published April 19, 2021

UTICA — The city of Utica will be hosting a puppy parade this month at Grant Park in honor of national Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month.

April is widely recognized by many national and local organizations as a time to renew awareness of the issue of animal cruelty. Utica will spread this awareness with a memorable parade.

The city had a similar event when the Utica dog park was opened to the public for the first time. The first of what organizers hope will become an annual puppy parade is free and will begin at 2 p.m. April 24. The event will run until 4 p.m. Refreshments will be available at the event.

The city said that pets of all ages are welcome. The parade will begin at Grant Park and end at Pioneer Park Dog Park. Dogs must be on leashes.

Many organizations will be joining in the parade, including the Humane Society of Macomb, Detroit Pit Crew Dog Rescue, Sterling’s Legacy and Utica/Shelby Rebels Football and Cheer Club. Organizers also promise there will be “two very special surprise guests.”

Gus Calandrino, the mayor of Utica, said that since there have been recent incidents of animal cruelty in Utica, the city was looking for a way to demonstrate that it does not agree with these horrible acts.

“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. 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. The city of Utica is happy to show our support for this worthy effort,” he said.

Calandrino is inviting the community to come out and show support for animals.

“Please bring your pet and join us for the parade,” Calandrino said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID-19 recommendations will be in effect during the event.

Theresa Sumpter, the executive director of the Detroit Pit Crew, said the organization will be participating and is honored to be a part of the parade.

“We are very honored to have been asked to participate in the Utica Puppy Parade on April 24. 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. I hope that everyone who loves animals and is against animal cruelty will come out to show their support by walking in the parade,” Sumpter said.

She also said that they will be passing out gifts to the first few people to arrive at the event.

“We will be passing out free Detroit Pit Crew string backpacks to the first 50 participants, which will contain a DPC calendar, brochure and an informational bookmark to let people know what to do if they believe they have witnessed animal abuse,” she said.

For more information about the event, visit the link to the Facebook Event Page: www.facebook.com/events/447616109835281 or call the city at (586) 739-1600.