The American Kennel Club is again sponsoring “AKC® Responsible Dog Ownership Day” with events including a Bakersfield one to educate first-time owners about the responsibilities of dog ownership and to help current owners enhance their relationships with their dogs.

The day is designed to emphasize that dog ownership, while rewarding, "should not be entered into lightly," the club said in a news release. "It’s crucial to understand the commitment involved and to learn as much as you can about dogs and their specific breed before bringing home a new four-footed family member."

This year’s event, “Dog Day in the Park," hosted by Responsible Dog Owners of Kern County, Anderson Acres and the City of Bakersfield, will be held at Central Park at Mill Creek from 9 a.m. to noon Oct. 7. AKC-affiliated dog clubs as well as many other dog and pet-related organizations will participate, the release said.

Activities will include AKC Canine Good Citizen tests, obedience and rally, demonstrations, no cost/low cost micro-chipping and vaccinations, adoptions, licensing (city and county), spay/neuter vouchers, child safety around dogs, disaster preparedness for pets, Country Canines, Blessing of the Animals at 10 a.m. and a Halloween costume contest at 11 a.m.

Dog experts will be there with help locating a reputable breeder, training, advice on health, nutrition, socialization and how to find low cost spay/neuter programs. Dogs must be on leashes; no aggressive dogs are allowed.

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