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Latrobe's second Bark for Life scheduled for May

| Tuesday, April 23, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Dogs know when their owners are in distress, so, in its second year, a Latrobe event is allowing the furry friends to help lend a paw in fighting cancer.

A Bark for Life to benefit the American Cancer Society as a part of Relay for Life is planned for 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 11 at the B & D Creekside Activity Center.

“They're so sensitive to your moods and your feelings,” event co-chairwoman Tina Blake said of the pets.

Registration is $25 for the owner and a dog, then $15 for any additional dogs. Participants can sign up by visiting the website and searching for Latrobe or calling the activity center at 724-539-9610.

Blake has been working hard with co-chairwoman Danielle Repko to build upon the success of last year's inaugural event, she said.

The event raised more than $5,000 with 68 dogs registered. Blake said this year the volunteers are hoping to raise even more, with a goal of 150 to 200 dogs.

“It turned out to be just a wonderful day for our first year,” she said. “We'd love to double it.”

Activities during the three-hour event will include agility demonstrations, a DJ and appearances by the Greensburg Volunteer Fire Department bloodhound team and Rocky of the Latrobe Police Department K-9 Unit.

A health and wellness area with Dr. Hank Croft of the Loyalhanna Veterinary Clinic in Cook Township will educate dog owners about how to notice illness or cancer in a pet.

Contests will include best costume and owner/dog look-alike. Winners will be featured in a 2014 calendar.

Blake said she has been involved with Relay for Life for about 10 years, first dedicating her time because five family members have had cancer. “It's very common in my family, and I got involved with Relay because I felt so helpless,” she said, adding that she is inspired by the American Cancer Society's mission attached to the relay events: Celebrate, remember, fight back.

But in this case, for this year's theme, it's a bark back.

Stacey Federoff is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6660 or