Embrace spring, spend time with your pooch and support a good cause by signing up for the annual “HUGS for Hounds” doggie Easter egg hunt, which will be held Saturday, April 20, at Hammel Woods Dog Park in Shorewood.

The Fido-focused egg hunt will begin at 11 a.m. The cost of participating in the egg hunt is $7 per dog. Online registration is available at bit.ly/2019DoggieEasterEggHunt. Day-of registration starts at 10 a.m., but online registration is encouraged. This year’s egg hunt will be held in the small-dog enclosure, which opened at the dog park in July 2018.

To see dogs in action at a past “HUGS for Hounds” event, check out the Forest Preserve’s “HUGS for Hounds” video at bit.ly/hugsforhounds.

Shorewood HUGS, a local nonprofit organization that assists with worthy fundraising efforts, has organized the spring fling for pups in partnership with the Forest Preserve District of Will County.

“This is our 11th year hosting the ‘HUGS for Hounds’ doggie Easter egg hunt,” said Sue Coyle, a Shorewood HUGS board member. “It’s a popular event and anyone who comes out can feel that spring is in the air! With Easter so late in April this year, we are hoping for our best weather yet.”

However, the hard-boiled “Hugs for Hounds” fans don’t seem to be fazed by iffy weather. “Rain, shine, windy or windier – we always have a lot of canine participants,” she added.

If the weather cooperates, Paws Up 4 Rescue, Help Save Pets and All Herding Breeds Dog Rescue will be on site with dog adoptions.

Proceeds from the event are contributed by Shorewood HUGS to the Forest Preserve District’s police K-9, Jullo, for his care, handling and training.

“We have probably raised more than $15,000 for the Forest Preserve District’s K-9s over the years,” Coyle said.

During the event, pooches will search for Easter eggs filled with dog treats. Participants should bring baskets to collect their eggs. A special raffle will be held for dog-themed Easter baskets. Raffle tickets will be sold for $1 each or six for $5. Awards will be given at the event for: biggest dog, smallest dog, best Easter outfit, dog who traveled the farthest and dog who looks most like its owner.

Dogs must be current on their vaccinations and on a leash at all times to participate in the egg hunt. Dog park permits are not required to participate, but permits will be available for purchase. A current rabies tag number and expiration date must be provided to purchase a permit. For more information on dog park permit requirements, please visit the Dog Exercising page at ReconnectWithNature.org.