It wasn’t just dogs who stole the show at this year’s 14th annual Pet Carnival sponsored by North Royalton Animal Hospital and Paws At Play Resort and Daycare.
A variety of furry (and some scaly) friends made an appearance at the popular summertime event, including a Bearded Dragon, Flemish Giant Rabbits weighing more than 35 pounds apiece, galloping Nigerian Dwarf Goats, various egg laying chicken breeds and saucer-eyed cats keeping tabs on the many animals and owners walking the City Green grounds July 28.
The beloved yearly event embraces and celebrates all-things pet and the bond between pets and their families. Attendees were treated to activities like a dog agility course, pet sketches, a temporary airbrush tattoo artist, a DJ, balloon artists, doggie ice cream, the 4-H Petting Zoo, a children’s bounce house, games and crafts, and special visits from the Cleveland Animal Protective League Adoption Mobile and the North Royalton Police Department offering meet-and-greets with Bear, the department’s new K-9 officer.
The Pet Carnival also included a variety of vendors selling everything from pet collars to clothing to food bowls to backseat covers to animal-themed gifts and artwork. Rescue and advocacy groups were also on-hand to share information with event-goers.
“I love getting to see all the many different pets gathered on the City Green, and meeting old friends and making new ones,” said Veterinarian Adam Hechko, who serves as hospital director of North Royalton Animal Hospital.
Scores of raffle baskets donated by Pet Carnival vendors and clients of North Royalton Animal Hospital and Paws at Play Resort and Daycare were set up beneath a large tent with all ticket proceeds going to three charities. Molly’s Mission, whose namesake Molly, a Shar Pei Mastiff mix, died in 2009 of complications from a canine mast cell tumor, is dedicated to subsidizing medical treatments and pet owners’ bills. Give Pets a Chance provides financial assistance to qualified pet owners in need throughout Ohio, and W.A.G.S. 4 Kids provides mobility service and autism service animals to children with special needs.
Jake Fechko and his son Luke attended the Pet Carnival with “Luke, Jr.,” a one-year-old bearded dragon.
“Luke knew he wanted a reptile of some sort and settled on a bearded dragon after researching care tips on Youtube,” Jake said. “Luke, Jr. grew out of eating crickets and now enjoys salads, arugula and peppers. He’s super tame and very easy to take care of.”
Robin Sturik of Strongsville brought her three-year-old Papillon “Autumn” to the Pet Carnival. Robin’s mother Patricia also attended with “Schnapps,” her nine-year-old dachshund.
“I love her so much. My favorite thing is always having someone to love,” Sturik said of owning a pet. “She looks at me like no one else does.”
The staff of North Royalton Animal Hospital and Paws At Play Resort and Daycare also walked the City Green meeting with pet owners, answering questions and enjoying a sunny summer afternoon with those gathered. Veterinarian Michael Henson, new to North Royalton Animal Hospital last month, enjoyed his first Pet Carnival speaking with pet owners and meeting new friends.
Contributing Writer