From GIE Expo 2019: To the dogs

By Kyle Brown

GIE+Expo attendees got a chance to bring a new dog home at Lucky’s Mutt Madness.

Kris Kiser, president and CEO of OPEI, at Mutt Madness

Dogs hold a special place in the hearts of many turf care professionals, whether it’s a crew mascot or a golf course guardian. GIE+Expo attendees got a chance to bring a new dog home at Lucky’s Mutt Madness, which was held in the Freedom Hall of the Kentucky Exposition Center during the show.

The event was done in partnership with the Kentucky Humane Society and the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute, Alexandria, Virginia, providing an open area for attendees to play with and get to know dogs up for adoption. For those who drove, it was an opportunity to take home a new member of the family or team.

Though the event itself ran from 11 a.m.–2 p.m., visitors continued spending time with and adopting dogs in the enclosure through the afternoon. Some smaller areas were sectioned off with groups of puppies, while volunteers walked with grown dogs. Those adopting could also pick up some necessary gear to help the dog on the trip to its new forever home.

The adoption event, in its second year, is now named after OPEI’s rescue dog Lucky the TurfMutt. Lucky was part of turf public education events to get people talking about the benefits of turfgrass and landscapes through the TurfMutt program. Lucky passed away recently while working at the TurfMutt Foundation, but the program will continue both in environmental education and animal rescue advocacy, according to OPEI.

At the adoption event, the TurfMutt Foundation and GIE+ Expo donated a $10,000 check to Kentucky Humane Society to support its work.