BryAnna Hagopian, 15, left, and Morgan Mason, 14, give pets Saturday to Maxwell, an 8-year-old a pitbull terrier, bulldog and beagle mix. Hagopian and Maxwell won third place in the 5K Woof Run at Waterville Humane Society’s Woofstock festival. Mason also ran the race. Amy Calder/Morning Sentinel

WATERVILLE — Cody Veilleux crossed the 5K finish line Saturday and corralled the three Goldendoodles, Sadie, 5, Molli, 2, and Charli, 10, into a circle as they touched noses and played.

She and the curly canines had just completed the Woof Run to help raise money for Humane Society Waterville Area during its second Woofstock event at the shelter on Webb Road.

The dogs belong to Veilleux’s father, David Veilleux, who takes them to work every day at pet-friendly Gateway Financial at FirstPark in Oakland, according to his daughter.

“Sadie and Charli are sisters and Molli is one of Sadi’s puppies,” Cody Veilleux said. “We tried to run in the 5K, but Charli is 10, so we walked. The dogs are best friends. They’re all super, super attached.”

Cody Veilleux and about 35 other runners or walkers took part in the Woof Run race, which included dogs of all sizes, shapes and breeds. The 5K was sponsored by Crossfit 137 and Central Maine Striders helped organize and run it.

The festival’s name is a take on Woodstock, a music festival held in August 1969 in upstate New York.


“The race is going wonderfully,” said Rae-Ann Demos, the humane society’s executive director. “This is the first time we’ve had the race.”

Cody Veilleux, left, hangs out Saturday with her father David Veilleux’s three Goldendoodles Sadie, 5, left, Molli, 2, and Charlie, 10, at Woofstock after walking the 5K race to raise money for the Humane Society Waterville Area. The Veilleuxs live in Waterville. Amy Calder/Morning Sentinel

Around the mowed field next to the shelter, visitors bought food from trucks, vendors sold T-shirts, plants, dog and cat collars and other items, and children jumped around inside a bounce house. At 4 p.m., live bands were to start playing music until 9:30 p.m.

“It’s free to get in and all the games are by donation,” Demos said. “We have raffles, food trucks. We have over 30 vendors this year. The day is geared toward families and at 4 o’clock the bands start to play.”

The nonprofit shelter operates on more than $1 million a year and counts on donations and grants to survive, according to Demos and Mark Chapman, vice president of the humane society’s board of directors. A lot of people think the shelter gets state and federal money, but it does not, Demos said.

The shelter has 11 employees but really needs 15, with Demos doing the jobs of about four people, she said. Donations of any amount help the operation so much, she said, adding that people may donate by mail by sending contributions to Humane Society Waterville Area, 100 Webb Road, Waterville, ME, 04901, or donate on the shelter’s website or Facebook page.

“The cost of everything is going up — veterinary care is going up, vaccines are going up,” Demos said. “It’s just crushing it.”


It is kitten season, and the shelter has about 70 cats and kittens and about 11 dogs, she said.

“The goal is to make Woofstock the biggest fundraiser of the year — this is only our second year,” she said.

Chapman was helping to welcome runners, walkers and dogs at the finish line. He said the race started on the shelter’s driveway, continued to Webb Road and onto Eight Rod Road for a ways and then turned around and came back to the same spot they started. Chapman said they were helping support a good cause.

“I have a passion for the cause,” he said. “It’s a labor of love.”

The shelter is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day except Thursday and Sunday, when it is closed, according to Demos, who said visitors are always welcome. If it has to be closed for any reason such as a snow storm, the closure is always posted on the website and Facebook pages, she said.

The sun was shining as blue skies mingled with clouds Saturday, following several days of rain. It was warm and a gentle breeze kept the black flies at bay. Demos said she had been praying morning, afternoon and evening for good weather.


Nikki Savage, who ran with Tito, the golden retriever, said the race was amazing.

“Our family loves to support anything to do with supporting animals,” she said.

BryAnna Hagopian, 15, of Madison, ran with her dog, Maxwell, an 8-year-old pitbull terrier, bulldog, beagle mix. They came in third, at 24 minutes, 18 seconds, she said. Her friend, Morgan Mason, 14, also ran with them. Hagopian’s mother, Larissa, said she thought it was a wonderful event.

“I love all the dogs that have been here,” she said.

A K9 police demonstration was scheduled to be hosted by Belfast Police Department later in the day. Local sponsors for Woofstock included Bangor Savings and Assistance Plus.

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