Calling all pet owners and their four-legged friends this weekend as Foothills Baptist Church hosts its second Pet Fair.
From 2 to 4:30 p.m. this Sunday, Nov. 22, residents and their pets are invited to participate in the annual event at the Ahwatukee Foothills church, located at 15450 S. 21st St.
According to event organizer Jennifer Gressett, director of Foothills Baptist Church’s Preschool and Children’s Ministry, the idea for the Pet Fair came from past Sunday schools, where grade-schoolers often requested prayers for their pets.
“We thought it would be nice to have a Pet Fair so that the children could bring their pets to church to show them off and we could meet the beloved animal we have prayed for,” she said.
Church members are asking those who attend the event to bring a donation of a new, unopened bag or can of dog, cat, puppy or kitten food.
“I am thrilled for our church members (children and adults) to meet local pet workers and to be able to donate food for animals in need,” Gressett said. “The purpose of this event, while being very professional this year, is for our church family and community to gather, show off their prized pet and enjoy each other.”
This is the first year the church is working with the Arizona Animal Welfare League and Maricopa County Animal Care and Control, and collecting donations to help needy animals.
“There is a clear abundance of orphaned pets that need homes and loving owners. We thought we would help in some way, so our hope is that we can find new homes for pets and feed some hungry ones as well,” Gressett said. “We chose these organizations because they are endeavoring to do that and we wanted to partner with someone with similar goals. The food is going to St. Mary’s Food Bank for families with pets who need food.”
Highlights of this year’s Pet Fair include:
• Pet adoptions: meet adoptable pets from the Arizona Animal Welfare League, who need loving homes.
• Ask the Vet: featuring Dr. Leo Egar, emergency veterinarian featured on Animal Planet’s Animal Cops: Phoenix.
• Ask the Pet Trainer: author and TV personality Dr. Grey Stafford from the Wildlife World Zoo and 3TV’s Your Life A to Z, will autograph copies of his book, ZOOmility: Keeper Tales of Training with Positive Reinforcement.
• Contests: “Best Bark,” “Best Trick,” “Owner/Pet Look-Alike,” “Best Mixed-Breed Mutt” and “Best Stuffed Animal.”
• Agility Course: run, jump and crawl the course with your pet.
Friendly, well-mannered dogs on leashes with current tags and ID on their collars are welcome. They must be at least 4 months old and fully vaccinated (including rabies, parvo and distemper). All types of friendly companion animals are also welcome.
“This is an event that our children and their parents are putting on to celebrate the love of the special pets ... and to help pets in need throughout the community,” Gressett said.
For more information, call (480) 759-2118 or visit www.foothillsbaptist.org.