Masks are encouraged but no COVID vax / test rules

GREENWICH – A popular event for animal lovers is returning to Greenwich this weekend with safety logs to ensure animals and people are well protected.

Puttin ‘On The Dog, the annual festival that also doubles as the pet adoption event, is held outdoors at Roger Sherman Baldwin Park on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with a full day of competitions, exhibits, adoptable dogs, and other entertainment.

The event is organized each year by Adopt A Dog, a nonprofit animal shelter based in Armonk, NY. This year, the pandemic is the focus of planning, said the organizers.

“Adopt A Dog has been closely monitoring other local events and we just decided to follow state guidelines as an outdoor event,” said Courtney Bellew, managing director of Adopt-A-Dog, on Tuesday. “We will have signs encouraging unvaccinated people to wear masks and we will have both disinfectant and child / adult masks available for anyone who may need them.”

The city operates on a policy introduced by First Selectman Fred Camillo that mandates masks for people during personal indoor interaction in all buildings in the city, both in the city’s buildings and in private businesses. People in public areas who cannot practice social distancing must wear masks.

For outdoor events, which health experts consider safer than indoor events, there is no mask requirement and do not fall under the urban order.

“Our (COVID-19) numbers are currently very good,” said Camillo on Monday. “We have now seen several events in the city that have not generated any increase. People are being vaccinated and have already been vaccinated. And when we put this policy in place, we said we were going to monitor it. … Things are looking up. We should be fine. “

Recently, the Greenwich Town Party hosted their all-day outdoor music festival at Roger Sherman Baldwin Park with strict safety protocols for all attendees.

Camillo said he spoke to the organizers of Puttin ‘On The Dog and told them to be careful and “see what the city party did” to use as a guide.

Tickets for Puttin ‘On The Dog are available online at https://adopt-a-dog.org/. The website also contains forms for registering dogs for the competitions and for people who wish to volunteer for the event.


All visitors to the city concert, from ticket holders to volunteers to performing musicians, had to present either a vaccination card or a negative test within 72 hours of the event. The thousands of visitors followed.

On Monday, City Health Director Caroline Baisley said it would take a few more days for the contact tracing to show a conclusive result, but the party’s organizers were confident it was a safety success.

“Our top priority was the health and safety of all of our guests at the Greenwich Town Party,” said Ray Rivers, Co-President of the Greenwich Town Party. “We have implemented the best COVID protocol practices in the industry that are consistent with those used at other major events and music festivals across the country.

The protocols for Puttin ‘On The Dog are different from the ones made for the party, but they will be safe, Bellew said.

“Adopt A Dog developed our protocols for outdoor events that families of all ages can attend,” she said.

A longtime Adopt A Dog supporter, Camillo will serve as the judge for the competitions and is expected to receive one of Adopt A Dog’s first humanitarian awards for his animal welfare work. Cathy Kangas, the founder of the Cathy Kangas Foundation for Animals, is also honored.

The event includes a K-9 police dog demonstration, frisbee tricks, and competitions including a costume contest, biggest lap dog, best tail bet, tricks, and pooches who can smooch.

Puttin ‘On The Dog was one of many events in town that had to be canceled last year due to the pandemic. Organizers said they were eager to return, pointing to the weather forecast, which forecast a sunny day with temperatures in the low 70s.

“We’re so excited about Puttin ‘On The Dog and the weather is looking fantastic,” said Bellew.

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About Clayton Arredondo

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