Dogs and Owners Parade through Middlebury at “Woofstock: A Walk for the Animals”


Pups bask in the sun at Woofstock on September 15.

MIDDLEBURY — The town was overwhelmed with furry paws and barking as dogs and owners alike thronged to the Middlebury Memorial Sports Center on Saturday, September 15. Woofstock, the annual walk aimed to raise funds for Homeward Bound, the humane society of Addison County, drew all number of four-legged friends and many an excited onlooker.

“All of the proceeds from the event go directly to providing the homeless animals of Addison County with food, shelter, veterinary services and compassionate care,” said Hannah Manley, the Director of Development at Homeward Bound. Although the total amount of funds raised has not yet been calculated, it appears Homeward Bound will exceed its $25,000 goal.

Volunteers completed a one mile walk from the Memorial Sports Center into downtown Middlebury and back. 157 people and 90 dogs participated in the walk. 

“This is a slow-moving, leisurely walk, with a lot of water for dogs and people,” Manley said.

Several new activities distinguished the walk from previous years. Prior to the walk, dogs could complete an agility course on the hockey rink or have their photo taken by a professional photographer in a setup similar to that of a school photo. Likewise, an “ask a trainer” booth run by Emily Lewis, a trainer who works as a consultant for Homeward Bound, gave pet owners the opportunity to ask any questions they may have had. 

As in past years, dogs splashed about at a pool party following the walk. Although the Middlebury community pool closed three weeks prior, Homeward Bound was still able to use the space for the event. Manley described the pool party as her favorite part of the event. 

A dog gets air at the pool party at Woofstock.

“It’s really awesome,” she said. “You really have to see it to believe it. As an animal lover, it’s just a really cool way to cap out the summer.”

Many of the dogs who participated in the walk were Homeward Bound alumni. Abby, age 10, brought Samantha, the dog she and her family adopted from Homeward Bound last year, to the walk. 

“We really like the people and the dogs,” Abby said. “[Samantha] can jump super high.”

Those who attended the walk cited a love for the dogs as their main reason for participation in the event.Britney and Mercedes of Lincoln, VT brought their four dogs, Diesel, Remington, Mosheus and Crosby, to the walk. 

“I had a dog [that] I got from the humane society two years ago. So we just like to support the society,” Britney explained. 

Christine Blakeney, a professional dog trainer and volunteer for the humane society, who attended the event echoed this sentiment. 

“I love dogs and cats and rescuing them, and they all need a good home while they are in transition, which is what Homeward Bound does,” she said.

Homeward Bound is located on 236 Boardman Street in Middlebury. For more information about volunteering, donating or adopting an animal, visit or email [email protected]