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Family fun and celebration abound at Pet Festival

Harford County's premier pet event, the Walk & Wag-a-Thon and Pet Fair is Saturday, Oct.12, from 1 to 6 p.m. at the Harford County Equestrian Center, 608 N. Tollgate Road in Bel Air. The Humane Society of Harford County (HSHC) will be attempting to set a Guinness World Record for "Most Dogs Wearing the Same Bandana in One Place" and needs all dog owners and their dogs to achieve the record.

Generously sponsored by Animal Emergency Hospital, the Walk & Wag-a-Thon and Pet Fair is a fun-filled afternoon for pets and pet parents alike with pet contests, raffles, vendor displays and more. Offering an array of tempting food choices, The Gathering, a coalition of gourmet food trucks from the Baltimore City area, will be delighting the taste buds of participants. They're also providing music and activities for children, and beer and wine will be available for purchase.

If you want to do something that feels good, saves lives and means so much to thousands of homeless animals, it's time to ask your friends and family for donations to raise crucial funds for the animals at HSHC. Pledges (donations) are urgently needed to provide medical care, food and shelter for Harford County's homeless and neglected animals. To get started, go to http://www.harfordshelter.org and follow the links to print a pledge sheet and set up your own personalized fundraising web page. Ask your friends, family, co-workers and neighbors to support the animals with a tax-deductible donation. Challenge your co-workers to form a team and fundraise together as a pack.

If you are unable to participate in the walk this year but still want to help by raising funds for the animals, visit http://www.harfordshelter.org to make a donation or start your own fundraising page. Donations can also be mailed to HSHC, 2208 Connolly Road, Fallston, MD 21047. Remember it's all for a great cause to help the homeless animals.

Bring donations and pledge sheets to the registration table beginning at 1 p.m. The walk steps off at 3 p.m. Immediately following the walk, help make history at 3:30 p.m. when HSHC attempts to set a Guinness World Record for "Most Dogs Wearing the Same Bandana in One Place." Enjoy a multitude of canine contests throughout the afternoon including best costume, best kisser, musical tails and best trick. A $1 donation is suggested to enter each contest.

Visit the Mobile Adoption Unit inside the Vendor Pavilion to meet a variety of dogs, cats and small animals waiting to be adopted into loving homes. HSHC will also offer microchipping for $20 for dogs, cats and ferrets. No bigger than a grain of rice, a microchip's sole function is to store a unique ID number that is used to retrieve a pet parent's contact information and is a vital aid to locate missing pets. Also inside the Vendor Pavilion, a multitude of vendors will be displaying their products and services.

Just outside the Vendor Pavilion, stop by the gazebo and get your pet's photo taken against a fall backdrop for $7. Photos will be processed on-site and packaged inside a keepsake frame.

If you don't own a dog, or if your pet is not able to walk, borrow a deserving shelter dog. Call 410-836-1090, ext. 102 to reserve a dog. A limited number of dogs are available and must be reserved prior to the event.

Three different levels of sponsorships are available to showcase your business in front of hundreds of animal lovers. Vendor spaces are also available inside the vendor pavilion. For more information about becoming a vendor or sponsoring the event, visit http://www.harfordshelter.org or contact Mary Leavens at 410-836-1090, x101.

Schedule of events:

1 p.m., walk registration, vendor pavilion opens, contest registration; 1:45, Best Trick Contest; 2:15, Costume Contest; 3, walk steps off, ribbon cutting, Blessing of the Animals; 3:30, help set a Guinness World Record for "Most Dogs Wearing the Same Bandana in One Place;" 4:30, Best Kisser Contest; 5, Musical Tails Contest;

The Humane Society of Harford County Inc. is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to the welfare and well-being of the approximately 4,500 animals each year. It promotes the kind treatment of homeless, stray and abandoned animals by providing shelter, care, adoptions and community education. It is not a county agency nor is it affiliated with any national or regional organization. Tax-deductible donations, bequests and proceeds from events are crucial to its life-saving efforts on behalf of the animals of the community.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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