Yesterday afternoon two kinds of hot dogs were in abundance at the Madison Mallards baseball game. Wisconsin baseball fans brought their dogs to Madison’s Warner Park to watch a different species of mallard. The dogs got a warm welcome with free bleacher seat tickets, plus free bandannas, biscuits, ice drinks, and water pools provided by local pet and veterinary organizations.
“Bring your dog to the duck pond!” day was part of a fund-raiser for Capital K9’s, a non-profit organization which buys and trains dogs for the Madison Police Department. On the field between innings, Capital K’9 trainers demonstrated how their five police dogs could sniff out illegal drugs and apprehend fleeing criminals. The news reports of the dog’s policing exploits are evidence of the dogs’ positive community service. These highly trained dogs help find lost people, protect police officers in dangerous situations, and improve police efficiency in locating contraband.
To support this all-volunteer organization, Mallards fans participated in a silent auction held during the baseball game. Meanwhile, their own pooches aided park clean-up services by consuming dropped popcorn, hot dog bits, and fallen ice cream treats. When not on food patrol, the dogs watched the fans rather than the mallards, although most labs kept their eyes on the baseball. Of course, at any sporting event there are those who come to socialize rather than cheer – and their dogs do the same.