Photo: Odin is going, are you and your dog? Don’t miss this year’s biggest and best “Woofa~Roo Pet Fest,” held August 12 and 13 in Amherstburg. Friendly, leashed and vaccinated pets are welcome to attend.
The 5th Annual 2017 Woofa Roo Pet Fest For Those Who Must Love Dogs!
Animal lovers and their furry companions are gearing up for the 5th Annual Woofa Roo Pet Fest, which continues to get bigger and better each year.
Director and Founder Lorene Clayton says the event is the region’s only pet and family festival, and so it’s a great way to celebrate the special bonds and relationships so many share with their beloved pets.
“We’ve been coined the festival of smiles because everyone has a great time,” declares Clayton. She adds that vacations and work schedules are often adjusted to attend what she describes as a “funtastic festival for pets and their people.”
Clayton describes the mood at Woofa Roo (WoofaRoo.com) as friendly, funny and focused on bringing people together with common interests — their love of animals.
“People don’t have to be a pet owner to enjoy our festival — and many people choose to leave their pets at home,” notes Clayton. “There is so much to see and do — both indoors and out — that many attend both days.”
Held Saturday and Sunday, August 12 and 13 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Libro Credit Union Centre, 3295 Meloche Road in Amherstburg, this year’s “Woofa-Roo Pet Fest” is expected to draw up to 12,000 people and 4,000 dogs.
“All friendly dogs are welcome to bring their responsible owner,” comments Clayton, suggesting people read their pet policy online prior to bringing your pet.
The dynamic two day event features a charitable twist, benefitting nine different charities and rescues.
“We enhance their profile with the public, help their fundraising efforts, increase their volunteer base, foster homes and secure homes for animals needing to be re-homed,” says Clayton. “Many of our rescues and charities consider ‘Woofa-Roo’ as their largest fundraising event of the year and count on the exposure they receive at our festival to recruit volunteers and foster homes.”
The event’s Adoption Circle is front and centre at “Woofa~Roo” and is always a highlight of the event, according to Clayton.
“Every single dog at our festival last year was adopted and our rescues had more applications than dogs,” states Clayton. “Adoptions were being conducted well into the new year as a result of our efforts at ‘Woofa-Roo Pet Fest.’”
Several vendors contribute directly to the event’s Silent Auction and various events, such as the “Dock Diving,” “Disc Dog” and more, donate their proceeds to the rescues and charities involved in the event.
“One particular event, which we are very excited about, is our ‘Castle Lane,’ sponsored and created by Suzanne Marsh,” notes Clayton. “This is a children’s zone that encourage our young or young at heart to relax in a fantastical corner of our festival, and 100 percent of the proceeds from ‘Castle Lane’ are generously donated to Motor City Greyhound Rescue.”Proceeds from the “Woofa-Roo Gauntlet” event — which tests your dog’s skills and training through an obstacle course —benefit Danes in Distress.
The Windsor Police Service Canine Unit was so popular last year, Clayton says this year they’re enhancing the event field for their highly anticipated repeat presentation this year.
“We are also expanding our events on this field to include a new game of distraction called the ‘Woofa~Challenge’ and bringing back our popular ‘Wacky Weiner Dog Races,’” adds Clayton.
Biz X magazine is once again sponsoring the fast and furious “Flyball” event, which Clayton says is a must-see, featuring dogs flying down a lane of hurdles to a spring-loaded box to retrieve a ball.
“Flyball is exciting to watch and Biz X magazine provides ear protection for our guests to watch in comfort,” Clayton notes.
The “crazy fun event” continues to grow in popularity and draws flyball teams from as far as South Dakota and Ottawa.
“We have onsite camping largely due to this event,” states Clayton. “People travel great distances to compete at this sport. Many spend their entire summer crisscrossing the country to play this sport. Most have multiple dogs in ‘Flyball,’ and they particularly like “Woofa-Roo” because they can also compete in ‘Disc Dog’ and ‘Dock Diving!’”
Another popular event is the “Dog Agility” set up which is a demonstration of skill as the Border City Barkers put their dogs through a great show for the public.
“With three shows daily that will be held indoors in a climate controlled environment, this event is weather proof,” adds Clayton.
The “Lure Coursing” is also a festival favourite, according to Clayton. Held throughout the weekend during various times, this event is open to all dogs that love to run and chase things.
“The lure (a plastic bag) follows a pre-set course,” describes Clayton. “It’s fun to watch and fun to try!”
This year’s “Woofa~Roo Pet Fest” sponsors are: The Windsor Star, Biz X magazine, Clayton Studio, AM800 CKLW, Suzanne Marsh, Canadian Tire, Home Hardware, Crumps’ Naturals, Steimar Bakery, Donna Jean Mayne Sculptures and Howard Johnson.
Joe Crump, President of The Crump Group, says this is their first time as a sponsor of the event, but the business has participated in the event in the past.
“‘Woofa-Roo’ does a fantastic job of drawing in attendees from near and far, which provides Crumps’ Naturals the perfect opportunity to build brand awareness and showcase new products,” states Crump, whose business specializes in all natural pet treats. (Crumps.ca)
Clayton notes that the annual fun family-friendly festival wouldn’t be possible without their “best and most dedicated” volunteers, many of whom return every year to help out.
“Some love the social aspect of our festival, some need the volunteer hours for their community service requirements, but all are there because they love animals,” remarks Clayton. “They are an integral part of our festival and we depend on them to keep the wheels turning at our event.”
And because “Woofa~Roo” is one of the few events that does not serve alcohol on site, their volunteer base is open to a much wider group of people.
“We have volunteers ranging in age from 13 to 91, and 10 percent of our volunteers have special needs and bring with them a happy eager attitude,” boasts Clayton.
The festival continues to grow each year, and this year there will be about 70 exhibitors. There are so many unique businesses that participate, says Clayton, like Etch Your Service, which creates custom pet monuments and more.
There are also several non-pet related businesses that are involved in the event this year, such as Sentry Windows & Doors, Arbonne, Younique Products, Canadian Blood Services, the Windsor Essex County Health Unit and more.
“Many of our non-pet related businesses add a twist to the weekend by presenting a pet related angle to their booth,” adds Clayton. “For instance, Sentry Windows & Doors will feature their very popular dog doors and pet proof screens. The Windsor Essex County Health Unit will also be doing a presentation at our ‘Pet-Ucation Centre’ on rabies.”
Admission is $5 per person and children under five are free to attend.
Now, let’s read on to learn about some of the exhibitors and vendors at this year’s fun and exciting “Woofa~Roo Pet Fest!”
Give A Dog A (Raw) Bone
Natural nutrition is a cornerstone to many people’s diets, and they want the same for their pets.
The Hungry Pooch Owners, Alina and Attila Sherman, believe raw food is what’s best for your furry family member.
“We are all about species-appropriate raw food diets for cats and dogs,” states Alina. “We are experts in nutrition and, specifically, raw feeding.”
Their business offers free nutritional consults to provide guidance on what works for each specific pet. The Hungry Pooch (1243 Grand Marais Road West, Windsor; TheHungryPooch.com) is Windsor’s first and only dedicated raw pet food shop, claims Alina.
“We specialize in affordable raw pet food, treats, supplements and accessories for pets in Windsor and Essex County,” she states. “From DIY to thaw-and-serve, we’ve got all your raw feeding needs under one roof, and offer free delivery for all our areas, from LaSalle to Wheatley.”
This is the first time The Hungry Pooch has a booth at “Woofa~Roo Pet Fest.” They’ll be giving away free samples of Big Country Raw pet food and more.
Alina says since this is the region’s only dedicated pet event, they wouldn’t miss getting involved.
“Woofa~Roo is vital in our community,” she believes. “There are not a lot of summer festivals where pets can attend, and we all know how much we love our pets, so we truly believe this event is a must in our area for fun and hearing about what’s new in our community.”
Woofa Roo feature story continues HERE