On St. Patrick’s Day, about 20 dogs lined up at Bakers Street Pub and Grill in Fort Worth for the first ever wiener dog race held by Cowtown for the Dogs, a group that helps raise money for the City of Fort Worth Chuck Silcox Animal Care and Control Division.

The group has started fundraisers throughout the city to raise money that will directly support the animal shelter, which is in need of another care unit, Sharon Pate, event coordinator for Cowtown for the Dogs, said.

“We are doing what we can do to help the animal shelter raise the much needed money,” Pate said.

Due to lack of space, the shelter has to mix unhealthy animals with healthy animals, she said. With another care unit, it would be able to have more space for all the animals.

Since Fort Worth does not have many wiener dog race events in the area, she thought it would be a great fundraiser for the group. She got the idea for the event when she visited the “grand-daddy” of all wiener dog races in Buda, Texas, which is known as the “Wiener Dog Capital of Texas.”

For the people and dogs that participated in the event on St. Patrick’s Day, it was a time full of laughter and an opportunity to make new friends.

Dharma, the stylish dachshund that donned a pink suit, received the grand “wiener” of the day title. Races are nothing new to Dharma or her family.

Dharma trained for about a year, owner David Cox said. His dog won two out of the four races she has competed in. Despite her win Saturday, Cox said he did not consider Dharma a racing dog.

“She’s just goofy,” he said as she won the final race.

For those who did not own a dachshund, the event also included a “Wanna Be Weiner” race for all other dogs who weighed less than 30 pounds, Pate said.

For Molly, the “Wanna Be Wiener” winner, it was her first race, said owner Trina McCollom. After her dog chased another dog and made a loop around the parking lot, she laughed and said that Molly had made a new friend.

All the winners of the races were awarded a dog trophy full of gifts, but the next Cowtown for th Dogs race will award money as a grand prize, Pate said.

Proceeds from race entrance fees and sell of raffle tickets for a grill will be donated to the shelter. Shirts and koozies with the event’s slogan, “My wiener is faster than your wiener” were also sold to help raise funds.

Pate said the event raised about $600 for the shelter. The group plans to have larger events later this fall including a golf tournament and 1K and 5K walk/run at Trinity Park.

As for the next wiener dog race, she said, the group planned to host another one next spring. Its goal will be to have up to 600 dogs participate, making the race a much larger event compared to the 20 dogs that participated on Saturday.  

In the meantime, Cowtown for the Dogs may have smaller wiener dog races leading up to the grand event next spring, she said.