Speakers, Seminars, 70 Vendors At Toronto Pet Fun Fest And Adopt A Pet-A-Thon

By Karen Bliss 2/18/10 | www.samaritanmag.com

Pet Fun Fest
Pet Fun Fest and Adopt A Pet-a-thon is a unique indoor event being held at Toronto’s Downsview Park, February 13 and 14 at Studio 3 (40 Carl Hall Road) that includes guest speakers, seminars, and more than 70 vendors and animal welfare groups.

Admission is $5 for humans ($3 in advance on the web site), $2 for dogs, and $15 for families (maximum six —humans and dogs). Hours are 10 a.m. ‘til 6 p.m. on Saturday; 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Sunday. Fifty percent of the ticket sales will be donated to the registered charity HelpingHomelessPets.com. Parking is free.

The event is the brainchild of Rob Goddard and Shelley A. Altman. Goddard, one of the founding directors of the non-profit Helping Homeless Pets, has been involved with dog-related events for the past four years, including the Barkham Dog Festival in Markham Village.  Altman is a veteran fundraising volunteer for the Canadian Cancer Society and also handled sponsoring and vendor teams for the Agility Association of Canada (she competed in the 2009 Ontario Regionals with her dog Lucky, rescued from Ohio). She is a volunteer at Helping Homeless Pets.

At the Pet Fun Fest and Adopt A Pet-a-thon, people can meet and learn about all breeds of pets, cats, dogs, guinea pigs, rats, rabbits, ferrets and more, all up for adoption.

“Each group has their own screening policies and I am not certain what the process for Toronto Animal Services is, but for the rescue groups, there are applications, reference checks, vet checks, home visits, for dogs,” Goddard tells Samaritanmag. “This means you won’t be able to take a dog home that day. Other pets generally don’t require a home check, but they certainly do screen.

“The purpose of this event is to raise awareness of the thousands of homeless pets,” he adds. “By bringing together potential adopters many of these pets will find new homes.

Other attractions include Canada’s greatest disc dog team, Angela Ewtushik and her dog Rally, winners of the 2009 World Skyhoundz pairs free-style event; and a 2400 square foot pet play area, but the 55-minute session must be booked in advance (see the web site for “dog meet up and play group”). There is also “speed dating,” at which your dogs can sniff out a good match, and a Guinness Book attempt for Canada’s largest simultaneous mass “stay” with some 200 dogs.

Helping Homeless Pets (HHP) was founded in 2006 as a non-profit charitable company to support pet rescue groups across Canada.

For more information, please visit: www.helpinghomelesspets.com | www.petfunfest.ca

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* Samaritanmag.com is an online magazine covering the good deeds of individuals, charities and businesses.