Photo: Pets and their owners are eager and excited for the return of the weekend-long “Woofa~Roo Pet Fest.” Photographed in action, a few adorable little doggies make a break for the finish line during the “Wacky Weiner Dog Race” event at a past “Woofa Roo.” Photo courtesy of Woofa Roo Pet Fest.
Who Let The Dogs Out? It’s Time To Race To The Woofa Roo Pet Fest!
Pets are considered family, so it’s always great when you come across an event where they’re invited to attend alongside with you.
Such is the case with the return of the unique, fun-filled Woofa Roo Pet Fest, which is back for its sixth year at the Libro Sports Complex, 3295 Meloche Road in Amherstburg.
“We continue to be one of the most anticipated events of the year and hear of people adjusting their work and vacation schedules around ‘Woofa~Roo,’” states Lorene Clayton, Director and Founder of the event.
Held a bit earlier this summer than last, the event takes place July 21 and 22 from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. each day. Admission is $5 per person and children five and under are free to attend.
“Our typical weekend in August was becoming very crowded with other festivals,” explains Clayton. “We’ve also heard people comment that they wished there were more events in July. When the Libro Sports Complex opened an opportunity for us to move to July, we took it!”
You and your family can enjoy a number of live demonstrations and presentations, such as the “Dock Diving,” “Dog Agility,” “Lure Coursing,” “Disc Dog” and “Dog Races.” And Clayton adds they have several new things coming to the festival “to round out our crazy fun weekend.”
The “Fetching Field” is new and provides an opportunity for canine friends with good recall to play fetch with a custom-built robot designed by A-Team Robotics. All proceeds from this event benefit the “Woofa~Roo” charities and rescues.
“Woofa~Roo’s” new “Sterling Canine Citizen Award” is a test in canine manners. “We add something new every year to enable our public a chance to play, watch or participate in various events, many of which benefit our charities and rescues,” indicates Clayton.
Also new this year, the “Shaggy Chic Cafe” — brought to you by Biz X Magazine — is a pet and family friendly place to “meet, greet and eat,” she describes. It also features live entertainment arranged by Lee Watson Academy of Music.
“We recognize the social aspect of our event and enlarged our indoor eating area to include live entertainment,” Clayton elaborates. “People come for the social aspect of our festival as much as they do to be entertained. Animals break social barriers and total strangers become fast friends.”
Last year about 10,000 people and 4,000 dogs attended. This year Clayton expects up to 12,000 people to attend.
One of the most beneficial aspects for the event’s charities and rescues is the silent auction, with hundreds of baskets that have been donated for their benefit.
“It’s a great help for our charities and rescues and a fantastic deal for those bidding on some fantastic gift baskets,” she explains.
The charities benefitting from this year’s Woofa Roo Pet Fest include the following: Spay Neuter Assist Program for Cats (SNAPForCats.weebly.com); MotorCity Greyhound Rescue (MotorCityGreyhoundRescue.org); Windsor/Essex County Humane Society (WindsorHumane.org); St. John Ambulance therapy dog services (SJA.ca); Cat Assistance Team (see Cat Assistance Team on Facebook); Chatham-Kent Animal Rescue Purple Leash Campaign (PurpleLeash.com); Wings Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre (WingsRehab.ca); and Danes in Distress (DanesInDistress.com).
While there’s an “Adoption Circle” area at the event each year, they never sell or adopt pets out at the actual festival itself.
“Applications are accepted at our festival for adoptions, foster homes and volunteers,” notes Clayton. “We never know the extent of our influence, but applications are still being fulfilled months after our festival.”
All sorts of businesses get involved in “Woofa Roo Pet Fest,” including some that are not typically pet-centred.
“Sentry Windows & Doors is a great example of a non-pet related company who has been attending ‘Woofa~Roo’ year after year,” states Clayton. “They draw interest to their pet doors, but ultimately get visitors to look at their other products as well.”
There are dozens of local businesses sponsoring this year’s Woofa Roo Pet Fest including presenting sponsor, Windsor Star; platinum sponsors Biz X magazine, AM800 CKLW and Clayton Studio and many more.
Read on to learn about just a handful of the many vendors at this year’s event, and be sure to check them out not only at “Woofa~Roo,” but year-round too!
Chiropractic Care For Your Pets
Keeping your pet happy and healthy is a priority for Dr. Ginette St. Pierre, Certified Animal Chiropractor and Owner of Holistic Chiropractic & Wellness Centre.
“Chiropractic care is not just for humans,” asserts St. Pierre. “In fact, it can be very beneficial to animals as well.”
This is the second year for Holistic Chiropractic & Wellness Centre to be a vendor at Woofa Roo Pet Fest.
St. Pierre says they’ll be sharing information with visitors regarding the benefits of animal chiropractic care and answering questions owners have regarding their pets and how chiropractic care could potentially help them.
The company is offering adjustments at their booth as well, for those who would like to have their four-legged friends adjusted at the show.
At the Pet-Ucation Centre, you’ll also find St. Pierre offering an information session and demonstration by adjusting a few dogs.
“Animals cannot tell us when they have small aches and pains,” explains St. Pierre. “They carry on by changing their gait, their behaviour and their movements to compensate for their discomfort.”These changes may go unnoticed until obvious signs such as stiffness, limping, avoiding activities, or yelping occur. During an assessment, she is trained to detect these small changes, and subsequently provide treatment to prevent further injury.
St. Pierre points out a few signs to look for with your pet: pain or sensitivity to touch; changes in behaviour; difficulty getting up or down; asymmetric postures; abnormal gait; poor or decreased performance; changes in their ability to manage stairs, jump on furniture or into the car; or simply just noticing they’re “not moving right.”
Holistic Chiropractic & Wellness Centre is located at 1350 Provincial Road in Windsor (and on the web at:HolisticWellnessCentre.com). They offer animal chiropractic services within the clinic for most animals and on-location for horses.
“Chiropractic care is tremendously beneficial for healthy animals and can also be used to treat animals that are experiencing specific problems and conditions in a natural way,” describes St. Pierre.
She suggests that chiropractic care can help your pet for many reasons, including: relief from back, neck, leg and tail pain; dealing with strains, sprains, muscles spasms, nerve problems, movement issues, jaw problems or difficulty chewing; recovering from injuries from slips and falls; ensuring proper development of puppies; dealing with elderly and geriatric pet problems; coping with arthritis and osteoarthritis; enhancing athletic performance; treating asymmetric postures; and overall spinal health for animals of all ages
“Since the nervous system controls the entire body, many owners bring their pets in for chiropractic care even when they are not clinically symptomatic or having a particular issue,” St. Pierre adds. “Chiropractic care helps your pet’s body function at its best and facilitates its ability to heal itself. In that regard, the possibilities are endless.”
Great Value And Selection For All Your Pet Needs
For convenience, quality, selection and expertise on a wide range of things pertaining to pets, Pet Valu has many locations throughout Windsor Essex.
Shelley Hekman, District Manager, informs Biz X this is the first time they are attending “Woofa Roo” as a vendor, although in the past some franchise business owners have participated.
“We will be giving away samples of our private label food and treats, called Performatrin, and coupons for a free dog wash,” states Hekman.
The several Pet Valu (PetValu.com) locations throughout Windsor and Essex County can be found at: 288 Erie Street South in Leamington; 5844 Malden Road in LaSalle (which is the hosting store at “Woofa~Roo” this year); 39 Arthur Avenue in Essex; 410 Main Street East in Kingsville; 337 Notre Dame Street in Belle River; 13596 Tecumseh Road East in St. Clair Beach; and in Windsor at: 300 Tecumseh Road East, 3155 Howard Avenue, 5060 Tecumseh Road East, 8420 Wyandotte Street East.
“At our stores, you’ll find a great selection of pet food, treats, toys and accessories, all at competitive prices,” Hekman claims. “Across all our stores, you’ll find friendly pet experts trained in pet care and nutrition through the University of California Davis Extension School. We pride ourselves on being pet experts and we want to use our knowledge and experience to help you find the right nutrition and other solutions for your pets.”
Some of the services Pet Valu provides include: dog washes, grooming and adoptions. They also carry a variety of small animals, freshwater fish, birds, small animals, reptiles, hermit crabs, crickets, worms and frozen feeders.
Hekman concludes by stating that at both the Woofa Roo Pet Fest and at one of Pet Valu’s many area locations throughout the year, you’ll find friendly and knowledgeable people dedicated to helping you find the perfect product or service for your precious pet!
Humane Society Promotes Making A Difference
Participating in Woofa Roo Pet Fest once again, this year, is the Windsor/Essex County Humane Society (1375 Provincial Road; WindsorHumane.org).
At their booth, you’ll find several products to help support the shelter, along with a lot of information about the variety of services they offer, which some people may not know about, according to Events & Communication Relations Coordinator Emma Amlin.