Major League Baseball Teams Help Bring Dog Owners Together with Bark at the Park
Major League Baseball once again steps up to the plate for Bark at the Park.
Central Garden & Pet
Central Garden & Pet’s brand Nylabone, retailer Kroger and the American Pet Product Association (APPA)’s Pets Add Life campaign are once again stepping up to the plate with Major League Baseball teams for Bark at the Park.
Fans can purchase tickets for themselves and their dogs, join in a pre-game parade around the field and participate in pet-friendly activities and free product sampling before the game. The program includes fundraising for pet welfare programs and direct engagement with fans at ballparks across the country.
This year’s schedule includes games featuring the Arizona Diamondbacks, Atlanta Braves, Cincinnati Reds, Texas Rangers, Seattle Mariners, Colorado Rockies and Milwaukee Brewers.
“More and more people and families have pets,” said Jim Heim, president of business development for Central Garden & Pet in Walnut Creek, Calif. “And we want our pets to share in our lives and our experiences. There’s a real desire for pet inclusive venues, events and opportunities. Baseball is setting a great example by hosting pets and families together to experience the great American pastime.”
Pets Add Life, an APPA social media campaign, has been a supporter of Bark at the Park since 2015. In addition to the nine events it will co-sponsor with Nylabone and Kroger, Pets Add Life will be the primary sponsor at three more Bark at the Park events with the New York Mets, Baltimore Orioles and Kansas City Royals.
“As pet parents, we cherish our pets,” said Steve King, CEO of APPA. “Pets Add Life promotes the joys and benefits pets bring to our lives and there’s nothing more enjoyable than cheering on your favorite team with your best pal by your side. We’re very excited to be a part of another season of Bark at the Park and look forward to seeing thousands of smiling fans and wagging tails at ballparks this season.”
Tony La Russa, Hall of Fame manager and Los Angeles special assistant to baseball operations, helps promote Bark at the Park with a public service announcement highlighting the program’s contribution to the Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF) that La Russa co-founded and chairs.
ARF’s Pets and Vets program receives funding from Central Garden & Pet, APPA and the teams via donations and proceeds from Bark at the Park ticket sales. The program pairs specially selected rescue dogs with military veterans challenged with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injuries and other conditions and leads the veterans in training their dogs as psychiatric service animals.
“Bark at the Park has been helping us in our mission of Saving Both Ends of the Leash for years,” La Russa said. “ARF is honored to partner with Central Garden & Pet, Kroger and the APPA, and we are so grateful for their partnership helping both dogs and veterans in need.”
The first Bark at the Park will take place at Chase Field in Phoenix on March 29 when the Diamondbacks host the Atlanta Braves. Tickets can be purchased through the teams’ official websites.