ST. GEORGE – SunRiver St. George encourages pets and their people to come prance and pant about Saturday during its annual Pet Festival with the “purrfect” purpose this year of giving a helping paw to the much anticipated county animal shelter in the works.
Creatures of all sorts and sizes will be welcome to fluff feathers and fur, twitch their noses and beg for prizes and recognition.
The “Cutest Pet” photo contest winners will be announced (entry deadline has passed) and the “Fur Real” beauty pageant and “Best Dressed” fashion show are sure to arouse drooling grins and unleashed applause. Pets may be entered at the festival up until 10 minutes before the pageant and show commence, or register in advance online.
New to the festival, in this, its eighth year, is a “Bark Blitz” – a sort of “puppy bowl” for adoptable dogs – that will be held at at 10 a.m.
The entire festival runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the SunRiver Golf Course, 4275 Country Club Drive, St. George.
“The entire festival will be geared toward raising funds for a proposed Washington County Animal Rehabilitation Center to be located at Purgatory Correctional Facility,” organizer Laurie Nelson-Barker said in a news release. Proceeds will also benefit rescue groups.
The festival comes complete with vendors – many particular to pet needs and wants, a photo booth, kids corner and prizes.
About the Washington County shelter
The new shelter is planned for an area next to the Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility. Inmates will help build the shelter and care for and work with the animals, reducing costs and benefiting the inmates.
Residents and animal advocates are rallying around the cause under the leadership of the Friends of Washington County’s Animals Foundation, which is handling fundraising for the shelter.
The proposed shelter will reduce the recidivism rate of inmates and labor and building costs will be decreased through inmate staffing, Nelson-Barker said. Other benefits include properly trained rehabilitated animals and reduced crowding in city shelters.
County officials have committed $200,000 towards the new shelter plus ongoing operating expenses.
Friends of Washington County’s Animals Foundation is hoping to raise $250,000 and an anonymous donor has pledged to match the funds dollar for dollar.
How to help
Anyone interested in volunteering, donating or otherwise supporting the new county animal shelter can contact the Friends of Washington County’s Animals Foundation by email, or send donations to:
FWCAF (Friends of Washington County’s Animals Foundation)
P.O. Box 910774
St. George, Utah 84791-0774
- What: Eighth annual SunRiver Pet Festival, fundraiser | website
- When: Saturday, June 4, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Where: SunRiver Golf Course: 4275 Country Club Drive, St. George | telephone 435-773-4100
- Cost: Admission is free, donations are accepted | beauty pageant and fashion show are $5 per entry
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