Small Talk: PetFest 2013 has something for attendees on four legs, two legs and no legs
Sep 15, 2013 | 3111 views |  0 comments | 25 25 recommendations | email to a friend | print
People and pets of all varieties attend Anniston Medical Center’s annual PetFest in Zinn Park. Photo: Stephen Gross/The Anniston Star/File
People and pets of all varieties attend Anniston Medical Center’s annual PetFest in Zinn Park. Photo: Stephen Gross/The Anniston Star/File
Who let the dogs out … and what are they doing invading Zinn Park? Is someone giving free belly rubs?

Oh, wait — it’s the seventh annual PetFest, which in past years has been an event all about pets. This year, however, organizers have expanded the theme to include two-legged animals — humans.

Saturday, Sept. 21, species of various types will gather at Anniston’s Zinn Park for “Healthy Owners. Healthy Pets.” The good folks at Animal Medical Center are in charge of the event, and PetFest 2013 will be even more spectacular than ever, thanks to additional funding this year from the City of Anniston and Piper’s Playhouse.

Proceeds from PetFest go directly to local animal rescue groups and to The Animal Shelter. So sit, stay and listen to what’s in store for you and your critters.

There are three big additions to the activities that are creating a lot of buzz, er, barks.

Inaugural Wags’ Walk: This one-mile walk for pets (tethered to their humans) goes from Zinn Park to 10th Street, then up Moore Avenue and back to Zinn Park. Participating pets will receive a special bandanna, and there will be an exciting celebrity appearance by Downings and Sons shop dog, Greta, who will be hosting a water station in front of the store. As of press time, we had not yet heard whether or not she’ll be signing autographs (paw-tographs?) The cost is $10 for the first entrant, $8 for each additional pet entrant. Entry forms and complete information are available at Animal Medical Center or online at Registration begins at 9 a.m. and the walk will get underway at 9:30 a.m. Here’s hoping there aren’t too many fire hydrants along the route …

Blessing of the Pets: Pastor Laura Hutchinson from First Christian Church of Anniston will perform a ceremony at 10 a.m.

Woof! Sports Disc Dog Demonstration: Watch as a team of trainers lead their very energetic dogs to leap, twist and fly through the air, all in pursuit of a Frisbee. It’s amazing to watch, and may just inspire you and your four-legged athlete to get off the couch and into the air. The first demonstration begins at 11 a.m., with another one at 1 p.m.

In addition to these fun new events, there will be a Pet Costume Contest at 10:30 a.m., a Best Trick Contest at 11:30 a.m., Anniston Museum’s Dan Spaulding and his Creepy Critters at noon, JSU Field School’s Renee Morrison and her “Hiss and Slither” program at 1:30 p.m. and a demonstration by Auburn University’s Canine Detection Training Center at 2 p.m.

Smack-dab in the middle of these activities is the Adoptable Pet Parade, in which local rescue groups including AVRAL, League for Animal Welfare, Rockin’ P Rescue, Semper Fi Rescue, Soteria, Bama Bully and 4 Legs 4 Justice will show off their adorable furbabies available for adoption. The parade starts at 12:30 p.m.

Representatives from SAVE will be onhand with information about low-cost spay and neuter programs in Calhoun County. And there will, of course, be vendors galore, so whether you’re looking to learn about healthy human living or need to fetch a spiffy new outfit for Spot, you’re sure to find just the thing.

Featured vendors include Smoke-N-Hot BBQ, Piper’s Playhouse, American Red Cross, Anniston Runners Club, Body by Vi, Catcartel Cattery, Dandy Dogs, Feets a Poundin’, Prichard Leather, Anniston Fire Department, Regional Medical Center, Wade Chiropractic, No Board ’Em, Never Ending Summer, Dozier Tupperware and Scentsy, Taste a Rainbow and Jo Ann’s Doggie Duds.

While you’re there, check out the services and activities available, including a rabies vaccine clinic, microchipping, pet grooming and petting zoo.

There will also be face painting and a watermelon seed-spitting booth — presumably for the two-legged attendees, although a seed-spitting dog would definitely be a sight to see!

Hope to see you and your furry friends at Zinn Park Saturday.

To share your news with Small Talk, contact Annette Maddox at
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