Event Profile – The 2019 Woofa~Roo Pet Fest
For a one-of-a-kind festival this summer, you might want to check out the “Woofa~Roo Pet Fest” — and your furry family members are welcome to join you!
“Typically, we get upwards of 10,000 people and 4,000 dogs,” says Lorene Clayton, Director and Founder of the annual event that features live presentations, competitions, stunts, vendors, charities and more.
Now in its seventh year, 2019 Woofa~Roo Pet Fest takes place July 20 & 21 from 9:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. each day. It will once again take place at the Libro Credit Union Centre in Amherstburg.
“Our low admission rate of $5 per person, with children five and under free, enables the whole family to enjoy our festival without it costing a fortune,” says Clayton.
New this year are “Freestyle Dog Dancing” and “Dog Parkour” stunt shows.
The event continues to grow each year, and Clayton says the benefitting charities and rescues are taking a more active role by running many of the events this year.
“This benefits their organization as these events enhance their fundraising efforts,” states Clayton. “We want to bring a dynamic weekend with a charitable twist to our region by providing a fun-filled weekend for animal lovers of all ages.”This year’s benefitting charities are: Spay, Neuter, Assist Program (SNAP) For Cats; MotorCity Greyhound Rescue; St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog Program; Windsor/Essex County Humane Society; Danes in Distress and the Cat Assistance Team.
While animals are not permitted to be purchased or adopted at “Woofa~Roo Pet Fest,” applications to adopt an animal are accepted.
“We discourage impulse adoptions, so adoptions are spun off ‘Woofa~Roo’ long after the festival closes right into the following year,” states Clayton. “Our festival ignites a spark in people to become a pet owner or to enhance their home with a second or third pet. It’s difficult to estimate the spin-off from our festival, but we would have to say it’s substantial!”
Clayton and her team are proud they are able to draw huge crowds without the sale of alcohol, making the entire festival accessible to children. She adds that they continue to reach out to senior communities offering retirement homes a discount when they bus in their seniors to the festival.
Clayton adds that this year, in the food court, an outdoor stage featuring live entertainment is scheduled.
“A family can spend the whole day being entertained by our various shows and events without any extra charge. We do, however, encourage our families to educate their children on the proper way to approach a strange animal and always ask before petting their dog. Our festival fosters celebrating proper animal ownership — a good lesson for every family member.” – Lorene Clayton, Woofa Roo Director and Founder
“Lee Watson of Academy of Music has assembled an incredible line up of music students and performers to entertain our crowds while they relax with their pets,” Clayton mentions.
Participating for the fifth year as a vendor is The Hungry Pooch (Raw Pet Food Shop).
“It’s so important to have a summer event where pets are not only welcomed, but honoured,” states Owner Alina Sherman. “We especially look forward to meeting new people and discussing how we can help improve the life and health of their pet.”
The Hungry Pooch has two locations in the region: one at 1243 Grand Marais Road West in Windsor and the other at 110-486 Advance Blvd. in Lakeshore.
“We’ll have free samples of Canadian raw pet foods, accessories, treats and more,” comments Sherman about their booth at this year’s festival. “We’ll also have our frozen doggy popsicle booth!”
Clayton says they are so fortunate to have such a diverse group of vendors.
“‘Woofa~Roo’ draws a wide demographic, as animal lovers cross age and gender barriers,” Clayton asserts. “A variety of vendors recognize this and feel comfortable offering their services and products in a happy, fun environment.”
Among the many selling items for pets include: For Your Fur Kids, Pawz Therapy, Pet Nanny, Two Spent Grains, Stonepath, Modere, Each year, there are also several non-pet related vendors, including this year: Country Rose Preserves, Wuxly Movement, Thirty-One, Norwex, Beyond by Aerus, and Tupperware.
For 2019 there are more than 60 sponsors of all levels, according to Clayton, including: The Windsor Star, Biz X magazine, Crumps Naturals, Canadian Tire, Home Hardware, AM800 CKLW, RE/MAX and Chalet Studio Photography.
There are many reasons to attend “Woofa~Roo Pet Fest,” but Clayton summarizes them all succinctly in a couple of sentences: “We entertain, we educate and we have a very large charitable component. It’s crazy fun on a giant scale!”