Pet-A-Palooza: Shelby Humane Society participates in local pet event

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 5, 2006

Sniffing, barking, playing and outright flirting will come to Hoover Sports Park East on Saturday, with the third annual Pet-A-Palooza.

This year, all donations collected will benefit Shelby County&8217;s Humane Society, located in Columbiana.

At the &8220;festival for pet-lovers and their pets,&8221; families can enjoy the many activities, including live, family friendly music, a pet fashion show and the Alabama State Disc Dog national qualifier.

Two &8220;Doggie Fun Zone&8221; obstacle courses will be available, as well at three pet contests &045; Best Pet Trick, Cutest and Ugliest Doggie. The event goes from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and is free, but volunteers will be asking for donations at the doggie fun zones and at the entrance of the park.

Also, this year Pet-A-Palooza teamed up with Operation Paws and Claws to further aid the Shelby County Humane Society.

Over the past few weeks, schools and communities in Shelby and Jefferson counties have collected pet supplies that will go to Shelby County Humane Society to help care for abandoned dogs and cats throughout the year.

Dana Stewart, program manager for the Hoover Parks and Recreation department organizes the event and has seen firsthand Pet-A-Palooza and Operation Paws and Claw&8217;s outreach. She said, &8220;I&8217;m overwhelmed with how excited the community is. They are all getting involved and getting us volunteers.&8221;

Stewart&8217;s own daughter attends Bluff Park Elementary School, and Stewart said, &8220;She is bringing home flyers all the time and everyone keeps calling to see what they can do.&8221;

Last year at Pet-A-Palooza, 22 animals were adopted from Shelby County Humane Society alone, not including pets adopted from other humane societies around the city, Stewart said,

&8220;They were so shocked at how well they did on that day. A lot of good adoption stories came from the event last year.&8221;

In fact, every dog and cat brought to the event found a home, so more pets were brought and found homes as well.

Director of the humane society Ronda Steciuk said the Pet-A-Palooza is also a great opportunity for families who are thinking about getting a pet to ask questions, learn more about pet ownership and be exposed to many different breeds of animals.

&8220;Rescue agencies and other organizations are always there to answer questions. Some people are just not sure about pet ownership and asking questions is very important in making responsible pet owners,&8221; she said.