Pet fest draws a crowd

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Hundreds of people and probably at least that many four-legged friends visited the Best of the West Pet Fest celebration Aug. 18 at Aspen Grove in Littleton.

The event included pony rides, a pet parade and a pet costume contest that raised funds for the Humane Society of the South Platte Valley. The society also took the event as an opportunity to promote adoptions of some of the animals at the society.

The focus on pets attracted a lot of dogs, a cat or two and a lot of other animals. There were pony rides, an opportunity to brush and pet goats, the organization Nature’s Educators had volunteers walking the midway with big snakes wrapped around parts of their body and the organization’s booth featured raptors, which included a red-tailed hawk.

Charles Kelley attracted a lot of attention as he brought his three wolf hybrids to the event. The oldest, Yukon, was a timber wolf while the other two, Rocky and Spooky were part prairie wolf.

In addition, there were hundreds of dogs of various sizes, shapes and colors moving up and down the midway-like area with their owners.

“I brought my children here today because we love animals but I didn’t bring my dogs because I didn’t know what to expect,” Arapahoe County resident Rick Jones said. “As expected, there are a lot of dogs here and the vast majority of these pets are very well-behaved It is fun seeing all the different kinds of dogs but I didn’t expect to get the chance for my 4-year-old to ride a pony or my 6-year-old son to pet a wolf. We are having a great time and, if they do this next year, we’ll probably bring our dogs so they can enjoy the day too.”

Pam Camelio, event planner, said it took about three months work to organize and plan the pet fest.

“We tried to invite vendors that were all pet related and we got a wide variety of pets and displays,” she said. “The society used its special van to bring a lot of adoptable animals to the festival. I think that is a success because we have had a lot of people expressing interest in the animals which is at least a step toward getting them adopted.”

Camelio said here were a total of 11 pet adoptions during the event and the proceeds benefitting the society are still being totaled.

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