Get Ready for Woofa~Roo Pet Fest 2024

The fun-filled, family-friendly 11th annual Woofa~Roo Pet Fest 2024 is set to once again hit Amherstburg on June 22 and 23 at the Libro Credit Union Centre, 3295 Meloche Road.

“While our name might suggest that we are a ‘dog festival,’ in reality we are a festival for animal lovers,” points out Lorene Clayton, Director and Founder of the annual event. “With a growing number of equestrians, cat owners and farm animal sanctuaries attending our event, Woofa~Roo attendees cross all demographics in the community. And our exhibitors reflect the variety of interests our attendees have.”

Taking place from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. each day, tickets are $10 for adults; $5 for ages six to 16, and kids five and under are free to attend.

At the Woofa~Roo Pet Fest there are several events that run all weekend long, including the Dock Diving (where dogs launch themselves off a 40 foot dock into a 28,000 gallon swimming pool), Lure Coursing, Dog Agility, Dog Races, Charity Contests and new this year, a Dog Rally Course and Rally Demonstration.

A jazz band also performs on the Saturday (June 22).

On the Sunday of the event (June 23), there are Clydesdale horses and an Elite Windsor Police K9 demonstration.

“And this year the Police K9s have some new recruits — puppies,” exclaims Clayton. “They are changing some of their format to include the training process of a new recruit. These puppies (while not that small) are new to the game. It should be interesting to compare them to the seasoned pros!”

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The Woofa~Roo Pet Fest 2024 benefits several local non-profits and charities, including: the Spay Neuter Assist Program (SNAP) For Cats; the St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog Program; Essex County Kennel Club; The Runaways Farm; Windsor/Essex Pony Club; Windsor All Breed Training & Tracking Club, and Cat Assistance Team.

Some of the events that support these non-profits and charities are the Dog Races, Dock Diving, Treasure Hunt, Cornhole, Charity contests at the booths, a huge Silent Auction and many more activities throughout the festival.

While you don’t need to bring a dog to the pet fest — and most people choose not to — friendly dogs are welcome to attend.

“We ask that everyone reads the pet policy found on our website:,” she notes.

The event has continued to grow and evolve over the years. In 2023, 6,880 people and 2,500 dogs attended the festival. This year they are expecting up to 10,000 people.

“COVID had essentially stopped the growth of our festival,” Clayton reports. “While we continued to grow in popularity from 2013 to 2019, all festivals dropped out of public view during the pandemic. When we started up again, we found we still had a great following, but nothing compared to pre-pandemic levels. We are happy to say that the rise in our popularity is steadily increasing every year post-pandemic and we are confident that we will recover to pre-pandemic levels soon.”

The Woofa~Roo Pet Fest has everything one would expect at an animal lover’s festival — dog treats, feeding bowls, pet collars, trainers, groomers and more.

However, Clayton mentions they also have a huge variety of human goods and services, such as jewellery, key chains, home improvement products and professionals on hand, such as real estate agents.

“Our festival is a menagerie of interests and products,” she describes. “We love how creative our vendors become to attract our animal lovers to their exhibit. Trimlight, for instance, will bring a miniature home on wheels to showcase their programmable lighting. REALTOR RuthAnn Osborne of RE/MAX Preferred Realty Ltd., has teamed up with her church to bring face painting to children coming to our event. St. John Ambulance Therapy Dogs conduct dog races, Windsor/Essex Pony Club will run an agility course and Windsor All Breed Training & Tracking Club will have an interactive Rally Course. There is something for everyone!”

For 2024 there are many sponsors of all levels, according to Clayton, including: Biz X magazine, AM800 CKLW, Oxford Learning, Canadian Tire Amherstburg, Clayton Studio, The Hungry Pooch, CKBG Amherstburg 107.9, Steimar, and Emeryville Animal Hospital.

Silver sponsor, The Hungry Pooch, has sponsored the event, and also participated as an exhibitor, since the business began in 2016.

Owners Alina Sherman and her husband Attila say they are all about helping people give their pets healthier lives by providing a natural pet retail experience.

“We are an independent, local pet health food store specializing in pet health and nutrition,” describes Alina. “We have the best variety of natural, local and holistic products, we provide compassionate, friendly, caring and welcoming customer service, we are trusted, knowledgeable, health obsessed pet people and our guarantee can’t be beat.”

They offer free home delivery, a new in-house rewards program, as well as frequent buyer programs for the many pet food brands they carry.

The Hungry Pooch has two locations, one at 2451A Dougall Avenue in Windsor and the other at #110-486 Advance Blvd. in Tecumseh.

Their booth is located outdoors at the festival this year and Alina asserts: “Our booth is a must-see. We promise to have exciting sales on summer items, local pet products, free samples and frozen yogurt too!”  

Melissa Taylor, Owner of M.T K9 Services, is also participating as an exhibitor for the second time this year.

“It was a great success last year with many people visiting the booth,” comments Taylor who started her business somewhat by accident.

“I loved the weatherproof material of biothane and the versatility it offers,” she explains. “I literally wanted to make myself a few leashes for my dogs and then started making them for friends and things snowballed from there.”  

Taylor sells a variety of leashes, collars and pet toys. She runs her business out of her Amherstburg home and also handles special orders.

“My business offers many custom options, so if you don’t see exactly what you’re looking for I can probably create it for you,” Taylor notes.

So just who exactly attends the Woofa~Roo Pet Fest each year? People of all ages, young and old!

As Clayton has noticed: “We don’t often find commonality with strangers, but everyone coming to our festival shares a common interest in animals. The charm of our festival is that animals break social barriers. Total strangers strike up conversations with others.”

Whether you attend the indoor events inside the Libro Credit Union Centre or wander the outdoor fields, she believes there is a general sense of joy at Woofa~Roo that attendees can experience.

“Our outdoor food court has a great variety of food where you can sit to eat under the shade of an umbrella or head indoors to a climate controlled environment,” she informs us, adding they are basically weather proof because a huge part of the festival is indoors.

Nevertheless, Clayton stresses that this annual event couldn’t take place without the many supporters and volunteers who remain committed and dedicated to its success.

“Thanks to our sponsors and to Biz X magazine for their continued support, and the hundreds of volunteers who help make this happen,” states Clayton.