Doggie Street Festival, an adopt-a-thon and pet celebration, will be held Saturday, Sept. 19 in Los Angeles 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Since 2009, the non-profit festival, which will also hosts events in Phoenix and San Diego, has been a way for pet owners to enjoy the day with their dogs or for potential owners to find the perfect companion for themselves.
Although the festival is named for dogs, attendees will also have the opportunity to adopt cats. Last year’s event drew an estimated 7,000 animal lovers with 50 animals finding new loving homes.
More than 10 city, county, and individual breed specific rescue groups will be in attendance for adoption such as the Southern California Golden Retriever Rescue, Angel City Pit Bulls, Beagles and Buddies. Other pet organizations that will also be in attendance are the Best Friends Animal Society, the Peter Zippi Fund for Animals, and Wags and Walks.
Jude Artenstein, founder and organizer of the Doggie Street Festival, said this year’s event will feature for the first time, a Kids Stage where children from the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and children from the local community will be invited to come on stage and “Shout Out” or share their stories about their pets and why it is important to give an animal a good home.
According to event founder and organizer Jude Artenstein, the Doggie Street Festival strives to capture the imagination of youngsters and involve them as advocates by encouraging them to choose adoption as their first option for a furry family member.
“Kids are powerful and kids can influence what kind of animal you choose as the family pet,” Artenstein said.
Another highlight of the Doggie Street Festival will be the presentation of the Hero Award to the Best Friends Animal Society & No Kill Los Angeles (NKLA) Pet Adoption Center for their tireless efforts to improve the lives of our companion animals.
In addition to adopting an animal, attendees to the event can also take advantage of some great deals and free samples from the more than 75 specialty vendors offering the latest in pet foods, services, fashion, accessories, health supplements, dog training, travel, lodging, nutrition and veterinary care.
Some of the vendors include Healthy Spot, a Los Angeles-based store for dogs; The Pooch Hotel, a high-end dog spa that offers day care, training, grooming, and boarding facilities for your dogs; and Grounds and Hounds, a coffee company that donates 20 percent of its proceeds to their animal rescue partners located around the country including Lucky Dog Animal rescue and Secondhand Hounds.
Other events at the Festival include an appearance by Max & Luther, authors of “True Tails from the Dog Park” and an auction that will offer attendees a chance to win gift cards to local restaurants as well as a dog spa gift basket.
Sponsors for the event include Purina Beneful dog food; Banfield Pet Hospital, which has a local branch here in Culver City; and Trixie’s Pet Depot, a Los Angeles-area pet supply shop.
According to The Humane Society, it is estimated that 3 million to 4 million dogs and cats are euthanized in shelters every year. Artenstein said one of the purposes of the event is to bring attention to that issue so that through the actions of caring individuals, the practice of euthanasia can be stopped.
“Someone once said that the universe doesn’t give you what you ask for with your thoughts, it gives you what you demand with your actions,” Artenstein said. “That for me is such a powerful statement because I really believe that euthanasia and pet homelessness are a national tragedy that you can’t hope or wish away.”
The Doggie Street Festival will be held at the Westwood Recreation Center at 1350 S. Sepulveda Blvd. in Los Angeles. For more information, go to www.doggiestreetfestival.org