homepage logo

Annual DogFest to include community dog show and rescue dogs

By Staff | Aug 7, 2015

The Shepherdstown “DogFest” being planned for the Aug. 15-16 weekend will include a community dog show for local and visiting dogs on Saturday, Aug. 15.

The festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. It will include a wide variety of activities for dogs, their owners, dog lovers, and the general public. All activities will be free and everyone will be welcome.

The community dog show will be held from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Saturday on King Street in front of the Town Hall. Prizes will be awarded in three categories: Best Family Dog, Dog Star and Good News Dog.

Everyone is invited to enter their dog in the show and there will be no fees. But all participating dogs must wear a current rabies vaccination tag and all owners must register and sign a liability waiver. Owners will be able to register their dogs on site, between 12 noon and 2:45 p.m. Saturday at the Shepherdstown Visitors Center tent on King Street.

To expedite registration, owners can also pick up a registration form beforehand at the Visitors Center’s permanent office on German Street or download one from the Center’s website at www.shepherdstown.info. They can then return their completed form to the Visitors Center office prior to Saturday or bring it to the Visitors Center tent on King Street Saturday, before 2:45 p.m.

The show will be judged by a panel of dog-loving local residents: Becky Phipps, Brian Albert and Elizabeth Sager. The Master of Ceremonies will be Roman Holton, president and CEO of Ascension Media Group, a Silver Spring, Maryland, film and broadcast production company.

New for this year will be a parade of rescue dogs on Saturday.

This parade will showcase adoptable dogs from a dozen different breed-specific rescue organizations and local all-breed shelters. As each dog goes on parade, a representative of the sponsoring organization will take to the stage to discuss the animal.

The organizations that specialize in specific breeds will review their breed’s history and general characteristics, its temperament, any grooming or special care needs it may have, and the kinds of people who would be happiest with it. Shelters that deal with all sorts of breeds will provide similar information about the specific adoptable animals they have brought.

DogFest coordinator Marianne Davis, a Shepherdstown resident who has extensive experience with dog-rescue activities, emphasizes that this parade is very unusual and perhaps unique. She says she has been able to find only one other community in the nation, Tampa Bay, FL, that lets rescue groups and shelters display adoptable dogs at the same event, and that event does not include formal presentations about each breed and animal.

She says the Shepherdstown parade format offers a good opportunity to educate people about the needs of different breeds and adoption and fostering options.

Other highlights of Saturday’s schedule will include a community dog show open to dogs owned by both visitors and residents, and an end-of-the-day “Yappy Hour” for everyone at local bars and restaurants.

The main event Sunday will be a “Look and Learn” show of more than 20 heritage-breed dogs that are rarely seen outside of major dog shows. Participating breeds will include Irish Wolfhounds, Scottish Deerhounds, Bouvier De Flandres, Shiba Inu, and Puli. There will also be three sheepdog demonstrations on Sunday.

Both days will include blessings of the dogs; flyball demonstrations; exhibits and demonstrations by trainers, rescue organizations, and others; and children’s activities.

Both days will include blessings of the dogs; flyball demonstrations; exhibits and demonstrations by trainers, rescue organizations, and others; and children’s activities.

Throughout the weekend, many restaurants and stores and will let dog owners bring their dogs inside. Many will also be offering special dog-themed food, drinks and items for sale.

Pools and misters will be set up so dogs can stay cool in the August heat.

Full schedule details are available on the Shepherdstown Visitors Center website given above.

For more information, contact the Center’s Director, Jan Hafer, at 304-876-2786 or SVC@shepherdstown.info