It was hard to tell who was having a better time at the 15th annual North Royalton Pet Carnival. Was it our four-footed friends or their owners?
The answer is … probably both.
Sunday, July 24, was the first pet carnival held on the City Green since 2019. We have the COVID-19 pandemic to thank for the delay. The two-year hiatus added to the excitement of dog owners being able to come and show off their pets.
The event was sponsored by the North Royalton Animal Hospital, an award-winning American Animal Hospital Association member. Doctor Adam Hechko, owner of the NR Animal Hospital, said his veterinary team starts planning for the Pet Carnival around the first of the year.
“We took a two-year break because of COVID. It’s so nice to have this event and bring everyone back together.” Doctor Hechko said that the goal of the Carnival is to bring the community together. “We’re here to support the community with our practice, with the daycare and boarding. We want to be more than just a brick and mortar location. The Pet Carnival is one way we do that.”
Lisa Hug from Akron attended the Pet Carnival with her husband Mike, and her four Great Danes: Bebe, Thor, Denver and Golaith.
“Since 1996, we’ve been sheltering Great Danes – 24 of them. They don’t eat as much as you might think, and all four of them get along.”
On the other side of the dog spectrum were the 13-year old Chihuahua and an 18-month old Tibetan Spaniel owned by North Royalton residents, Robert Paul and his wife. “We prefer lap dogs. They get along great despite the age difference, and they do well with other dogs.”
Jennifer Tobias from North Ridgeville brought her three-year old Pit Bull named Carmen, along with the rest of her family. “Carmen is very friendly. He is a rescue dog. Pit Bulls get a bad rap because of some of their owners.”
Among some of the vendors talking with dog owners at the Pet Carnival was Lisa Yasenchak, who works at “Woof Wise,” who says it’s important to have your dog trained, the younger the better.
“It’s important to have that training done between seven weeks and 16 weeks old. That usually sets the dogs up for the rest of their lives. Most of our training that owners ask for is that their pets are constantly jumping on others. We can take care of that.”
In our post pandemic world, Dr. Hechko said pets have become more important to us. “So many people relied on pets for social interactions. It was the only companionship they were able to have when lockdowns took place. Owners are looking to be more pro-active with their pets care.”
Many of us would agree, it truly is a dog’s world.

Contributing Writer