Utah has loads of summer festivals, and this year Salt Lake County Animal Services (SLCoAS) kicked off a new one to celebrate pets. The first annual Pet-A-Palooza festival meant a day of fun for attendees, and new families for homeless pets.
All for fun and fun for all
Kip Peterson, special programs supervisor at SLCoAS, says, “We wanted to have a fun festival for pets and their owners. We also wanted to provide an opportunity to support our rescue agencies and hold an adoption event.”
The event, held August 29 at the Viridian Library in West Jordan, not only had vendor booths, live music and food trucks, it included the following animal organizations, which had pets on-site for adoption:
Animal Rescue Center
Arctic Breed Rescue
Canines With a Cause
Community Animal Welfare Society
Davis County Animal Control
Hearts 4 Paws
Second Chance for Homeless Pets
Utah Animal Adoption Center
West Jordan Animal Control
Big goals, big success
Best Friends sponsored the event and had a booth there, but the real stars were the pets themselves. The community came out, excited to spend the day celebrating with those working to save pets, and many went home with a new furry friend. Kip says their goal for the event was to help at least 80 pets find new homes, but they didn’t do that. They did better.
At the end of the event, Kip says, “There were 90 adoptions, including 61 dogs and 29 cats.” By all accounts, the event was a great success, especially because it fostered a sense of everyone working together to help animals in the area.
A sense of community
Many of the pets adopted were from organizations that are part of Best Friends’ NKUT (No-Kill Utah) Coalition. NKUT manager Sandy Nelson says, “It's really cool to see our NKUT Coalition come together and do events. There’s a real sense that we’re an animal welfare community and that we are all in this together.” She echoes Kip’s feeling of accomplishment that so many pets went home from a first-time event.
Sandy adds, “Even if people don’t adopt when attending these events, it plants a seed that when they are ready to add a furry family member, shelters and rescue groups are great places to go.”
Perhaps best of all is that this year’s Pet-A-Palooza is only the first of many. Kip says, “We plan on making this event an annual festival, and will be back even bigger and better in 2016.”