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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Every pet’s a winner at Barceloneta ‘3Kanino’ run

Every animal that took part in the 3-kilometer race got a participation award.

By Alejandra M. Jover Tovar

Special to The Star

Under a beautiful, clear sky, at least 150 pet lovers flocked to the Barceloneta Pet Park on Sunday for a day of festivities that included a “3Kanino” (3-kilometer run for pets) and 5K for animals and owners at the Rafael Meléndez Pagán athletic track.

Also, the animals could take part in a low-cost vaccination and health prevention fair.

But the big surprise was that not only dogs ran. Not even that a cat ran, but a Japanese rooster, whose young owner asked to enroll last Friday. No news on whether he won, but he got a medal. In fact, every animal that took part in the race got a participation award.

“Everybody won,” said Barceloneta Mayor Wanda Soler. “The importance of this event was that everybody had a good time, we taught the next generation to care for every living creature, and we had fun.”

“Our administration supports activities that promote the physical fitness of pets and the responsibilities of their owners toward these little animals that are part of the family,” she added.

The races were held very early in the day to protect the pets’ paws and claws, given the elevated temperatures registered recently in Puerto Rico. The animals not only walked in the park, but took a trip to the town hall, then around town, and back to the park to receive their medals.

Many animals that went to the park to spend the day mingling are rescues, as attested by some owners interviewed by the STAR. There was Suzy, Gitana, Albus … animals of all breeds, big and small, some kept in cages and all on leashes, per the park’s instructions.

More often than not, the animals were well behaved. All entrances to the park are closed, and the owners are asked to keep a watchful eye over their pets, to minimize incidents. The inviting space is large with plenty of shadow and seats, so people can relax while their pets play.

“The park is like a forest, and it’s breezy so that animals can socialize,” Soler said. “I have pets, and I bring them to the park to spend their energy every day.”

The Barceloneta Pet Park is open every day from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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