What is it about pets? They ruin our furniture, cost us money, and make us clean up after them. But it's the love and affection they offer that more than offsets the negatives. Over time our pets become like family to us. Even when your cat is 17, has the nastiest breath, goes to the bathroom where they shouldn't, and has monthly pharmacy bills that cost more than your own health expenses.....you still love them like your own.

Get ready for the yearly day dedicated to having some fun with your pet in Missoula - the annual Pet Fest is set for August 21st at Caras Park. Not only is it a day full of fun for the family and your furry friends - it also serves as a pet adoption event as well as a collection site for pet food donations to help feed animals in need.

Check out the different contests and activities that will make for a fun day to be had by everyone of the two-legged and four-legged variety. And yes, I realize not all pets have legs. I'm sure someone is going to say "what about my snake?" but I'm just going to assume you know what I mean.

I thought the online info about the event was maybe posted a while ago and hadn't been updated to reflect the pandemic and social distancing guidelines. But I see that the info was just added on Feb. 8 - so they must plan on making it happen.

All of the details below are from the Pet Fest Facebook page:

PET FEST @ CARAS PARK
Saturday, August 21 - 10AM - 3 PM

The 16th annual Pet Fest is a fun-filled day with family-oriented events featuring contests, special attractions and pet adoptions. Pet Fest is also a great shopping venue for products and services related to pets and families.

Admission
Please drop off your donation of pet food to help us feed homeless animals or kindly make a cash donation at the registration booth.

Our Mission
Pet Fest promotes responsible pet ownership with education through entertainment. Animal shelters are faced with an incredible burden of dogs and cats that they cannot find homes for. Having your pet neutered or spayed ensures that you will not be adding to the problem. Adopting from shelters and rescues provides loving homes for thousands of animals.

Pets are Welcome
All pets must be leashed or contained, current on vaccinations and you MUST be prepared to pick up your pet’s mess. By attending Pet Fest, you take complete responsibility for any risks or actions by your pet or others.

Register Your Dog for a Contest – Have you always wanted to participate in a dog show with your best friend but could not because of his mixed parentage? Don’t miss your chance to prove that your often overlooked mutt is a champion, too!

Doggie Olympics – It’s fun and crazy! Dogs of all ages, sizes and abilities have a chance to go for the gold in the Doggie Olympics! We have a wide selection of contests for everyone. Dress your pet and yourself for a competitive edge and have fun all day long. You can enter one or all of the many fun contests in the Doggie Olympics.

Wacky Wiener Dog Dash – It’s off to the races with the Wiener Dog Dash, “competitive” racing like you’ve never seen it before! Dozens of tiny wiener dogs racing for prizes and glory to round off the end of Pet Fest! If you’ve never attended a wiener dog dash, get ready to have your heart melt from the sheer cuteness of it all! Dachshunds will compete in the tournament style event on a short course in one of three categories at Caras Park. Depending on the number of entrants, the top finishers of each heat will compete against each other for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in their category. It’s fun, competitive racing like you’ve never seen before! Dozens of tiny wiener dogs racing for prizes and glory to round off the end of Pet Fest! If you’ve never attended the Wiener Dog Dash, get ready to have your heart melt from the sheer cuteness of it all!

We have been asked many times if we accept mixed breed dachshunds in the dash. The answer is: Yes, but your dog must have the typical characteristics of a dachshund; low to ground, long body and short legs. If we find that any entered dog does not meet these criteria, it will be disqualified and not eligible to race. This is the only way we can keep the dash fair and safe for your dogs. Please check out the Mutt Run if you have a dog of another breed who wants to run!
Find a New Furry Friend
Visit with pet rescue organizations and animal shelters. Adopt a pet or support their fund-raising efforts. You’ll discover education on behavior issues, choosing the right pet and more.

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