NEAR WEST SIDE — This year's popular "doggie egg hunt" in a Near West Side park will be paired with an awareness campaign aimed at preventing animal and child abuse as well as sexual assault.
The 7th annual Doggie Egg Hunt on April 3 at Skinner Park, 1399 W. Monroe St., will now coincide with a community dog walk against child abuse, animal cruelty and sexual assault.
Organizers are hoping to use the doggie egg hunt's popularity with Near West Side residents as a chance to raise awareness on some issues that could use addressing in the city, said May Toy, president of the Skinner Park Advisory Council.
"We decided to combine them and help bring awareness to the neighborhood," Toy said. "It's a fun way to bring awareness and come out with the whole family."
Hundreds of dog owners have attended the egg hunt, where dogs search for plastic Easter eggs filled dog treats, May said. The group has also had success hosting other awareness campaigns and fundraisers, she said.
"It's pretty popular," Toy said of the egg hunt, held at Skinner Park's dog park.
Combining the events was a way to get more community members in front of organizations battling social problems like animal abuse and sexual assault, Toy said.
April is national child abuse month. It's also national animal cruelty prevention and awareness month, and sexual assault prevention and awareness month. Toy said those issues are ones faced by the community, and actually can play into each other.
"Animal abuse is something of an indicator of future abuse of people," Toy said.
Social services groups will be on hand at Skinner Park to give out information on each of the topics, Toy said. CAPS officers from the area will also be present.
The event will take place at Skinner Park on Sunday, April 3 beginning at 1 p.m. It is free and open to dog owners as well as non-dog owners.
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