Pup Squad Animal Rescue's biggest fund-raiser is bigger than ever.
This year, during the two-day canine lovefest that is Barkitecture Houston, there will be more doghouses than ever to ogle, take pictures of your dog in and potentially buy, as the auction will include more than 20 submissions ranging from a rescue helicopter to a house that folds up like a taco.
The fund-raiser, which calls on local artists, designers and architects to create stylish yet functional doghouses, is in its fourth year running and is the animal rescue shelter's biggest fund-raising effort. Last year, all of the doghouses up for grabs sold, bringing in $18,000 for the animal rescue in the process. This year, Pup Squad hopes to top that to help continue to do its advocacy work.
"Houston is definitely a dog town, but there's also a huge problem of overpopulation," said Julie Landry, co-founder of Pup Squad. "It's just a matter of getting the message out, to spay and neuter your pets."
This year, the festivities kick off with a happy hour, a.k.a. "yappy hour," on Friday, October 26, in the Houston Pavilions courtyard, with drinks, raffle drawings and door prizes. Dogs are welcome. The next day will feature the main event, as the doghouses will line the two blocks of the Houston Pavilions. Attendees can bid on their favorites while judges will also select the "Best in Show" and visitors can vote for the "People's Choice" and "Kid's Choice."
We got our own preview this week to see what's in store. Some standouts include a giant rescue chopper that even lights up; a doghouse with its own roof drainage system that collects water; a blue pedestal throne for the little prince in your household; an A&M-themed doghouse, complete with the words "Gig 'Em"; a brown and tan geometric beauty; and a colorful fan of a doghouse that folds up like a briefcase.
Kirksey Architecture is responsible for that last one. The firm, based near I-10 and the 610 Loop just north of the Galleria, is participating in its third Barkitecture. And this year, its architects think they've figured out the winning formula.
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"Doghouses can't just look good," said Jeff Chapman, an Associate with Kirksey who, along with Michelle Old, led a team of eight over the past several months in creating their doghouse. "There has to be something unexpected."
This year, the key was to make a doghouse that was easy to assemble, is portable, has cool graphics and, thanks to a layer of fabric covers, can grow with the dog.
"It's definitely not your typical wood-and-nail doghouse," said Old.
Barkitecture Houston kicks off on October 26 with a happy hour in the Houston Pavilions courtyard in front of McCormick & Schmick's (1201 Fannin, #121) from 5 to 9 pm. Then on October 27, it is held from noon to 5 p.m. in the Houston Pavilions, 1201 Fannin. Free. For more information, visit houstonpavilions.com/events/detail/barkitecture-2012.