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‘DogFest’ set for May 14-15

By Staff | Apr 22, 2016

Shepherdstown will hold is fourth annual ‘DogFest’ weekend May 14-15. Previously held during August, the event has been shifted to the spring this year to get away from the summer heat.

The DogFest 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 main event Saturday will be a parade of rescue dogs that 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 provide commentary on the animal.

The organizations that specialize in specific breeds will review the 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 dogs they have brought.

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

Davis says the Shepherdstown parade format offers a good opportunity to educate the public 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.

Sunday will feature three sheepdog demonstrations with border collies. This will be a good opportunity to learn how these highly intelligent dogs herd large numbers of sheep with instinct and training.

Both days will include blessings of the dogs; exhibits and demonstrations by trainers, rescue organizations, and others; and children’s activities. There will also be a silent auction of goods and gift certificates donated by Shepherdstown businesses.

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.

The Dogfest is sponsored by the Shepherdstown Visitors Center; watch the Center’s website at www.shepherdstown.info for schedule details.

For more information, contact Ms. Davis at 304-876-2786 or SVC@shepherdstown.info.