GREENVILLE — Because of its increase in participants, the Darke County Junior Fair Dog Committee has been raising funds for a new barn and enclosed show arena at the Darke County Fair.
“Our 4H side of things has really started to expand and getting kids involved,” said Andria Haworth, Darke County Junior Fair Dog Committee president. “It seems like everybody has a pet dog at home and we’ve seen the numbers increase here inside of the barn, we’re kind of spread out and trying to share space as best as we can.”
One of the first dog clubs formed in 1971 and when the group started showing dogs, they were in a tent by the fair’s front gate until they moved to the current location.
The current dog barn, which does not have an enclosed show arena, sits by the rabbit and beef and dairy barns and is 60 feet by 65 feet. The new barn will increase to 72 feet by 90 feet and the enclosed arena will be 72 feet by 130 feet.
Haworth said, besides the lack of space, one of the bigger issues with the current barn is that when it rains, the barn leaks.
“There are leaks everywhere, running down rafters into dog pens and crates and there’s just not much more room for us if we were to continue to grow over the next couple of years,” she said. “So space is definitely an issue and it even comes back to a security issue too. We don’t want the dogs crammed in here, this is a very stressful time for them to be in here if they’re not used to it. We just want it to be a good experience all the way around.”
The new dog barn, which would be located by the horse show arena, is estimated to cost more than $99,000 to build.
“The senior fair board is working with us,” Haworth said. “We’re trying to raise as much money as we can for the building itself.”
The dog committe started raising funds last fall and earlier this year began working at the Dayton Dragon’s concession stands where a portion of the funds would go to the committee. They have also sold Texas Roadhouse rolls and dog treats.
They are currently selling bricks that will be placed in a walkway leading to the new dog barn and show arena area.
The committee has raised more than $6,000 so far.
Haworth, who showed dogs growing up and has been an advisor for 15 years, said having a new barn is something they have needed for a long time.
“We just finally decided as a committee, this is something we’ve wanted for the kids, they’ve been talking about it for 25 years and it’s time that we step up and really try to get a new barn for them,” she said.
For more information or to donate, contact Haworth on the Darke County Junior Fair Dog Committee Facebook page or stop by the Darke County Fair office under the Grandstand.
The dog committee has also partnered up with another fair barn to host a chicken barbecue dinner in September. The tickets are $7 per dinner. Tickets are available from any 4-H member. The committee will be selling tickets through the last Friday of fair.