Mutt Strut attracts hundreds
SAYRE - With the warmer weather, there are a lot of festivals being held in the area, which feature games, contests, live music, food, and more.
But a festival held Saturday in Sayre's Riverfront Park was intended not intended for human beings, but their canine companions.
Several hundred people, most of whom brought along their pet dogs, attended the four-hour event, which was called the 4th Annual Mutt Strut Dog Walk & Fun Fest, said Joan Smith-Reese, executive director of the Animal Care Sanctuary in East Smithfield.
The event included a pledge walk for pet owners and their dogs, a bouncy house in the shape of a dog, pet health screenings, 15 vendors, food, live music by the Waverly, N.Y., classic rock band Double Take, and more.
The festival included various contests, including ones to see which dog would wag its tail the longest without stopping, which canine could eat a bowl of an ice-cream-like pet treat the fastest, and which dog looked the most like its owner.
"See, dogs are smarter than we are," said volunteer Peter Shoudy of Philadelphia, who was running the contest to see which dog would eat a bowl of Frosty Paws the fastest, which is a frozen substance similar to ice cream that he said is healthy for dogs to eat. "They eat it slowly. Most of them do, anyways."
Attendee Billy Kolbeck of Towanda said he thought the festival was "great."
The festival raises money for a great cause, the Animal Care Sanctuary, he said. And he said he enjoys visiting with other dog owners and their pets at the event.
The event is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the Animal Care Sanctuary, a non-profit organization that operates animal clinics and no-kill animal shelters in East Smithfield and Wellsboro. The clinics offer low-cost services, including spay and neutering, micro-chipping, and vaccinations, said Tamera White, the assistant supervisor for the Animal Care Sanctuary's cattery in East Smithfield.
Reese said she believed that last year's Mutt Strut Dog Walk & Fun Fest raised $28,000. She said she didn't know yet how much this year's festival raised.
The first three years, the festival was held at the Animal Care Sanctuary in East Smithfield.
The event was moved to Riverfront Park this year, because it offers more room and because it is a more convenient location for the public, she said.
"We're very happy" with how the festival turned out at Riverfront Park, she said, adding that there were a lot more people in attendance this year than last year.
The dogs at the festival, which were all on leashes, appeared to be behaving well.
Jim Buckley of Troy said he had seen only one dog fight all day.
The Animal Care Sanctuary was offering micro-chipping of dogs and cats at the event for $25.
Micro-chipping, which involves implanting a tiny device that is used to locate the owners of lost pets, is becoming more popular, White said. The procedure involves implanting a micro-chip, a device the size of an uncooked grain of rice, in the back of a dog or cat, between its shoulder blades, she said.
When a lost dog or cat shows up at an animal shelter or veterinary clinic, workers can scan the micro-chip to find the owner, she said.
Scanning the micro-chip "brings up a number that is registered with the micro-chip company," and the shelter or veterinary clinic will then contact the micro-chip company, which will in turn notify the owner of the pet as to its whereabouts, White said.
The micro-chip is implanted using a large-bore needle, she said. "It's not any more painful than a shot," she said.
James Loewenstein can be reached at (570) 265-1633; or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.