A pooch expects a beanbag at GS1221. Photo by Iris Dimmick.
A pooch expects a beanbag at GS1221. Photo by Iris Dimmick.

Update: As of May 5, a silent auction has officially begun for a special “Firehouse Dog House,” sponsored by The Home Depot and created by American Institute of Architecture Students UTSA Freedom By Design group, where 100% of the proceeds will go to The San Antonio Fire Museum. The dog house can fit large canines, and will have “Station No. 1” on the front awning, the San Antonio Fire Department logo on the left side, and the winning dog’s name hanging from the top pergola.

Bidding starts at $50, and will be closed at 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 7. To bid on the “Firehouse Dog House” click here.

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Barkitecture, a free festival made for dogs and their owners, will make its San Antonio debut at Maverick Park on Saturday, May 7 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

The festival will feature activities like a dog costume contest, arts and crafts, and treats for pet-owners and their furry friends, as well as vendors selling pet-related accessories. It also will raise money for local dog and pet-related causes while promoting pet health care and ownership awareness.

“It’s really a beautiful idea of raising awareness and San Antonio doesn’t have anything like it already,” said Belinda Benavidez, organizer of Barkitecture San Antonio.

Benavidez is hoping to team up with Animal Care Services and other local pet organizations to provide services like pet adoptions and health screenings at the event.

The fundraising aspect comes from a silent auction of dog houses designed and crafted by local high school engineering and architecture students. Judges will determine their favorite dog houses beforehand which will then be showcased at the festival. All proceeds from the auction, the date of which will be released at a later time, will go to the Spay-Neuter Assistance Program (SNAP).

Past dog house designs have imitated airstream trailers, food trucks, and modern homes, but the possibilities are endless.

Students at Earl C. Warren High School, South San Antonio High School, Harmony Science Academy, Theodore Roosevelt High School, and Edgewood Fine Arts Academy have already agreed to participate in the design competition, Benavidez said.

“Some children in those architecture groups are at risk children, so their teachers are over the moon about instilling community service in them at a young age,” she said, adding that the students will also have the opportunity to set up booths at the festival to sell other dog houses they’ve constructed, if they choose to.

A silent auction has officially begun for a special “Firehouse Dog House,” sponsored by The Home Depot and created by American Institute of Architecture Students UTSA Freedom By Design group, where 100% of the proceeds will go to The San Antonio Fire Museum. The dog house can fit large canines, and will have “Station No. 1” on the front awning, the San Antonio Fire Department logo on the left side, and the winning dog’s name hanging from the top pergola.

Bidding starts at $50, and will be closed at 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 7. To bid on the “Firehouse Dog House” click here.

The Pooch HousePink Cat’s Designs, Lucy’s Doggy Daycare and Spa, Snowcone Addiction, Cookie Fling, and Davila Electric Co., Inc. are the first official sponsors that have agreed to take part in the event, Benavidez said, but she anticipates more to join in on the fun in the coming months. She’s planning on securing Barkitecture’s “signature sponsor” sometime soon.

As an avid animal lover and advocate, Benavidez was inspired to bring the festival to the city in hopes that it would help raise awareness of various pet-related issues and practices like spaying, neutering, and adoption.

“In San Antonio, I think one of the biggest problems is that people don’t know about certain services that are free,” she said. Microchipping is a free service that allows pet owners to locate lost their lost animals, but spaying and neutering are also services that could drastically reduce the amount of stray pets roaming in the streets, she added.

“(Awareness) is a way to put an end to the cycle,” she said.

Maverick Park is currently in talks to becoming a dog park that will feature state-of-the-art facilities for both dogs and their owners. As of January, the project has received about $137,000 from the City and private entities, but still needs to raise more than $100,000 in order for construction on the dog park to begin.

Though Benavidez is supportive of the Maverick Dog Park initiative, she said Barkitecture is not related to the cause.

Since its inception in Austin in 2005, Barkitecture has grown to take place in cities all around the country. For more information on Barkitecture San Antonio, go to their Facebook page here.

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*Top image: A pooch expects a beanbag at GS1221. Photo by Iris Dimmick.

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Camille Garcia

Camille Garcia is a journalist born and raised in San Antonio. She formerly worked at the San Antonio Report as assistant editor and reporter. Her email is camillenicgarcia@gmail.com