Woof and meow
Members of the community and their rescued pets were showcased and honored during the Community Pet Center's (CPC) seventh annual Community Pet Festival at Crowe Park on Saturday.
"This festival is great in that it allows people to be made aware of the pets available in the community," said Melissa Cantrell, a volunteer with the CPC. "The services and information booths here today help make that possible."
Cantrell was at the festival with here 5-month-old great dane, Major. He was adopted from the CPC by Cantrell's children and given to her as a surprise.
"A lot of the animals here at the festival with their owners are in fact adopted and rescued pets."
In celebration of people who have rescued animals, a variety of activities and vendors were at the festival including pony rides, a petting zoo with goats and a pot-bellied pig, raffles for pet supplies, food stalls and a DJ.
The CPC also offered affordable rabies shots and micro-chipping services for pets. A few pets from the CPC and Forest City Pets were available for adoption, and photos featuring additional pets currently residing at the county shelter were also on display.
James Miller, of Forest City Pets, was at the festival with his 2-year-old giant mastiff, Boots. Miller rescued his giant pooch from the Foothills Animal Clinic in Forest City.
"It's important to rescue because there are too many dogs out there who need homes," Miller said. "Boots was left at the vet and no one came back for him. He took a liking to me and I took to him too, so I brought him home for Christmas."
During the festivities, a blessing was given for all pets in attendance as well as for those still in shelters.
Festival-goers also had an opportunity to enter their pets in various contests, including categories for best costume, best tricks, best dancer and shortest/longest tail.
In addition, four pet rescue individuals were honored and recognized in a special ceremony during the festival. Christine Hume was recognized for helping to put the pet shelter in Rutherford County on the map, Patti Peake for providing pets with vaccinations and transportation when they are rescued, and Marsha and Joe Goodwin for saving numerous kittens and a few dogs over the past year and a half.
Another pet rescuer, Naima White was at the festival with her daughter, Yasmin, and three dogs: Brady, a mutt mix, who was rescued from a flea market; Sig, a German shepherd, who was rescued from the side of the road; and Ike, a Bernese mountain dog.
"I'm a veterinarian, so rescuing pets and saving a life is important to me — I find it much more humble, appreciative and grateful," White said. "Rescued pets offer a lifetime of companionship. We give to them and they give back to us just as much."