The 10th Annual Pet Fest will celebrate International Homeless Animal’s Day at the Adams Center, Saturday, August 22 from 10:00am until 3:00pm. The one-day event will feature Animal Wonders, a Montana educational outreach organization that provides presentations with live exotic animals, along with Pet Fest regular events, the Doggie Olympics and the Wacky Wiener Dog Dash.
Pet Fest is a day filled with family oriented entertainment, education, contests and pet adoptions. Pet Fest is also an outstanding shopping venue of products and services for pets and families. There are many pet adoption agencies participating with on-site animals for locals to bring the family and meet their new best friend. So far in the line-up, of shelters and rescues are the RezQ Dogs, Lemhi County Animal Shelter, All Hearts Rescue, Humane Society of Western Montana, Montana Companion Animal Network, Missoula Animal Control, Animeals, Bitter Root Humane Association, Northwest Boxer Rescue, Flathead Animal Control, Western Montana Equine Rescue & Rehabilitation and Thompson River Animal Care Shelter.
In addition to adoptions, contests will be filled with the usual fun and antics. Pets of all ages, sizes and abilities have a chance to go for the gold in the Doggie Olympics where owners range in age and size just as much as their furry friends do. The contests include “Dress Your Best Pet”, “Peanut Butter Lick” and “Babe Ruth Obedience Baseball”. Contests kick off at 10:30am.
At 2:00 is the ever popular “Wacky Wiener Dog Dash”. Four-legged participants are divided into 3 age categories: Little Smokies – up to 3 yrs, Frankfurters – 3 yrs up to 6 yrs, Bratwurst – 6 yrs and over. Dogs and handlers line up at the starting mark while the second handler kneels at finish line. On the start signal, the dogs are released and the fun begins.
New to Pet Fest this year is the Mutt Run! After many requests for a mixed breed race competition, the Mutt Run will be held at 1:30, prior to the Wiener Dog Dash. Any small breed under 20 lbs. is welcome to enter. Also new is a pet size division for the Peanut Butter Lick, where humans hold the end of a spoon on peanut butter in their mouth and the dog licks the spoon clean. The fastest tongue wins!
The featured entertainment at noon! Animal Wonders is a Montana based educational outreach organization. They will bring some of their very special animal ambassadors to teach about wildlife, conservation and a love of nature. The animals at Animal Wonders love people and love to teach. Their human caretakers love to teach and love animals. When the animals come to Pet Fest, everyone will be captivated for this hour long, hands-on presentation while learning about the animals. The environment is so enriching that the kids won’t even know they’re learning. Adults might even find themselves raising their hand to ask that itching question or shouting out an answer.
Pet Fest is free to attend but attendees are encouraged to bring a donation of pet food. New, unopened bags of cat and dog food will be shared equally among the participating shelters and rescues. Pet owners are allowed to bring vaccinated, leashed or contained pets to Pet Fest and they are encouraged to read the rules for bringing pets on the website.
“Our goal is to share the mission of responsible pet ownership.” says event coordinator, Megan Baumann. “Animal shelters are faced with an incredible burden of dogs and cats that they cannot find homes for. Having pets spayed and neutered ensures that pet owners will not be adding to the problem. Adopting from shelters and rescues provides loving homes instead of sitting in a cage waiting for a home or being humanely euthanized.” Pet Fest is one of the organizations around the world that come together to celebrate International Homeless Animal’s Day and raise awareness about the pet overpopulation epidemic.