For the past several years, the Kiwanis Club of Independence has been holding a children’s pet parade and judging contest and has partnered with the Independence Park and Recreation and The Examiner.  But the event goes further back in time, as evidenced by The Examiner newspaper clippings dating from the 1930s.

For the past several years, the Kiwanis Club of Independence has been holding a children’s pet parade and judging contest and has partnered with the Independence Park and Recreation and The Examiner.  But the event goes further back in time, as evidenced by The Examiner newspaper clippings dating from the 1930s.

“Pets in the Park turned out great again this year,” said Nick Burke, Kiwanis Event Chair. “Thanks to all the families who participated, as well as the vendors and volunteers who made it a lot of fun for everyone.”

This year Pets in the Park was held at Waterfall Park, South Bass Pro Drive on May 21. Rachel Smith, Independence Parks and Recreation, organized vendors, animal shelters, and animal activities, which lined the perimeter of the park.

The Examiner held its annual photo contest, Paws & Claws. First place went to owner Sandra Gulley, for Pork Chop, a Chihuahua-terrier; second place went to owner Patty Putnam for a domestic mixed breed cat, Sophie Putnam; and third place to Pamela Miller for a Boxer named Heidi.

 Judges for the pet contest for children 12 and under were Kiwanian Kay Van Fleet, Annie Smith, a junior volunteer, and Chris Coulliette, a member of the Truman High School Key Club. Kiwanian Mary House, Cruise Planners, provided the award for the All American Pet, which was given to Darren Goin, age 8, of Independence for his mixed breed dog, Sadie. House said the Goin family took in eight puppies and found homes for all of them, but kept Sadie for their own.

There was also a parade with the pets, their family and owners around the park and the lake. And Jim Schultz, Independence Mayor Pro Tem read a proclamation from the City Council.



Winners of the Kiwanis pet judging contest:

Smallest Pet

1: Sarai Alvarado (Little Princess)


Largest Pet

1: Isaac Anderson (Wyatt)

2: Mallory Jones (Angel)


Most Unusual Pet

1: Sarai Alvarado (Little Princess)


Owner-Pet Look Alike

1: Hannah Lewis (Molly)

2: Sam Culver (Sandy)

3: Darren Goin (Sadie)


Pet with the Longest Tail

1: Isaac Anderson (Wyatt - 23”)

2: Rhen Neubauer (MJ - 15”)


Pet with the Best Trick

1: Kyle Rudd (Lilly)

2: Kyle Rudd (Brock)


Friendliest Pet

1: Christine Coulliette (Margarita)

2: Alex Jeffers (Socrates)

3: Darren Goin (Sadie)


Best Costumed Pet

1: Mallory Jones (Angel & Callie)

2: Sam Culver (Sandy)

3: Hannah Lewis (Molly)


Pet with the Largest Ears

1: Darren Goin (Sadie)