James City County Parks and Recreation’s first ever “FidoFest” Saturday had tails wagging and residents smiling.
FidoFest was full of furry fun with dog merchandise vendors, a dog photo contest, an agility play course, a trick contest and a fashion show.
While the dogs played, owners grabbed some grub from various food vendors and children did arts and crafts and had their faces painted.
Richmond resident Shelby Mullins called the event is perfect for young puppy, like her four-month-old pit mix “Sunny.”
“I’m trying to get her socialized, so we figured this would be great to come to,” Mullins said.
Mullins also volunteers for Ring Dog Rescue in Richmond, where dogs are rescued from a variety of situations.
Dena Gable and her 1-year-old German Shepherd Müs, decided to spend Müs’ birthday at the Fido fun event.
“He loves being around other dogs and people,” Gable said. “I actually adopted him from the country of Jordan. He was bred to be a Jordanian military dog."
All of Müs’ siblings died from canine parvovirus and Müs was the only one who survived. Müs and Gable enjoy their days together in Williamsburg.
William and Mary graduate student Amanda Cirillo and her 2 ½ year old mixed breed “Wakey" said the event is a great way to see all of the animal services and dogs from around the area.
“I’m so happy about this event, it’s a great way to meet other dogs and see all of the services,” Cirillo said. “It’s just been really fun for us both.”
James City County Parks and Recreation Event Coordinator Joy Johnson said the county has been planning on bringing the “pawty” to the area for two years now.
“We tried to figure out the time frame we wanted to offer it in the area, we settled on the early spring time,” Johnson said. “There used to be an event called “Bark in the Park,” that was held at Chickahominy Riverfront Park. It stopped a few years ago and we wanted to bring something back for the dog community.”
The parks and recreation department created the event in partnership with Heritage Humane Society. The event had multiple sponsors including Middle Plantation Animal Hospital, James City County Stormwater, City of Williamsburg Parks and Recreation and James City County Fire and Police.
Heritage Humane Society Executive Director Kimberly Laska said that the event is great for families and their furry family members.
“It’s a great way to get people out with their dogs and engaged in the community,” Laska said. “To give them a venue to meet other dogs, it’s a great place for dog socialization.”
Laska said the Heritage Humane Society had five adoptable dogs at the event throughout the day and she has seen several former adoptees in attendance.
“It’s great to see them have a great life with their new families outside of the shelter,” Laska said.
The Heritage Humane Society is also holding the Dog Street Strut on Saturday, March 24, a walk for dogs and their owners to get active and socialize. Event information can be found at heritagehumanesociety.org/strut.
Luck can be reached at 757-291-2038 or email@example.com