Day one of the ninth annual Pet-A-Palooza pet festival took place in Bullen Park in Esquimalt on Saturday. The playful pooches returned for round two on Sunday. While the event heavily featured dogs, pets of all sorts were in attendance.
“The west coast’s largest pet festival has found a new home here in Esquimalt,” said Pet-A-Palooza co-founder, Lonnie Powell. The event took place at St. Ann’s Academy for several years before moving to Bullen Park for 2019.
Hundreds of fur babies and their owners made their way to the event to celebrate pets big and small from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Aug. 17 and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Aug. 18.
“This has turned out to be such an amazing festival and event,” said Powell. “The community comes and supports it every year.”
On Saturday, attendees enjoyed a Puppy Stampede, Wiener Dog Races and the Ruff Mud obstacle course. Festival-goers who attended on Sunday got to cheer on the English Bulldogs and the Corgis in their breed-specific races, watch more Rudd Mud runs and experience other pet-related events.
This year’s festival saw several new activities including several Puppy Yoga sessions and the 120 foot Ruff Mud pit where owners and their furry buddies could race against the clock in a muddy obstacle course, Powell explained. The mud run motto was: “Run like you stole something and always believe you can get muddier!”
The Victoria Humane Society’s founder, Penny Stone, was also in attendance along with 50 of the 60 puppies the group recently took in.
The pups took part in the jam-packed Puppy Yoga sessions, she said. This allowed the public to get a sense of which sweet puppies are available to adopt.
“[This is] our biggest puppy adopt-athon,”she said with a laugh while cradling one of the mixed-breed puppies available for adoption.
Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins said that having the pet festival in Esquimalt is a fantastic opportunity for the township.
“Everyone in Esquimalt has an Esqui-mutt,” she said while cuddling a little pug. “We love our dogs, we love our pets.”
For more information and to view the schedule of events, visit the Pet-A-Palooza website.
With files from Michelle Cabana.