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An uplifting tail: Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade saved by start-up 

The Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade will be back for its 33rd installation on Sat., Oct. 21, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

But, from the sound of it, it came as close as whisker that this year’s event might not have happened, save for the intervention of a local dog-wellness start-up.

In fact, this year’s event was actually called off “due to complications with permitting and rising costs,” until Get Joy, the dog-wellness company, trotted in to help.

“We are beyond thrilled to announce that the 2023 Halloween Dog Parade is back on,” said Joseph Borduin, a parade organizer and T.S.P.D.R. volunteer. “This wouldn’t have been possible without the cooperation of Councilwoman Carlina Rivera, Mayor Eric Adams, city agencies, the NYPD and with the generous support of Get Joy.”

“This parade has been a cherished tradition for 32 years, capturing the essence of New York City’s vibrant dog-loving community,” said Fern Watt, a dog author and communications officer of T.S.P.D.R. “It’s a celebration of joy, creativity and the unbreakable bond between humans and their four-legged best friends. It’s basically the Met Gala for the canine community. We’ve been overcome by the amazing display of support from our community, so call the pup-arazzi: The show will go on!”

Get Joy, based in Fairfield County, Connecticut, jumped in as the exclusive title partner to work with the Friends of the First Run, the official 501(c)(3) fundraising organization for the Tompkins Square Dog Run, to help fund and orchestrate this year’s Halloween Dog Parade.

“Anytime a dog’s joy is threatened we want to help because, like humans, a dog’s total wellness is as much about the health of their spirit as their mind and body,” said Tom Arrix, Get Joy’s founder and C.E.O. “This parade is all about dogs finding joy by spending time with their families and other dogs in their community. Additionally, being able to step in to support the dog run that enables daily exercise and socialization for dogs makes complete sense as we are dedicated to helping dogs and families live their best lives together.”

To enhance the parade experience, an experiential area will be created across the parade route on Avenue B and Seventh St., providing attendees with a “paw-some” array of activities, services and sample stations. Arrix and Get Joy’s veterinary adviser, Dr. Brett Levitzke of VERG Brooklyn, will join the lineup alongside Watt and other judges for the costume contest.

Additionally, Get Joy will provide prizes for winners of various costume contest categories, including Best in Show, People’s Choice, Most Creative and more.

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