Pets and their owners loved another fun day at the 9th annual North Royalton Pet Carnival on Sunday, August 3, at the City Green. The pet carnival that is growing bigger and bigger every year is sponsored by the North Royalton Animal Hospital and Paws at Play Resort and Daycare. It was a perfect sunny, warm afternoon to bring out the pets and enjoy visiting with other North Royalton residents, as well as many visitors from other communities.

Breeds of all varieties came to the party, some dressed up to match their proud owners. From the Great Danes to the tiny Chihuahuas, this was their day to shine. “The annual Pet Carnival has become one of our largest events throughout the year. It’s a great free family fun day that attracts pet lovers from all over the area,” said Mayor Bob Stefanik.

The pet carnival also has a serious side, which is to help educate the public, and raise funds for many good causes, such as Molly’s Mission. “Molly was a dog who developed cancer and when she passed away her owner founded Molly’s Mission, which offers financial assistance to families who cannot otherwise afford medical care for their pets,” said Suzette Sledz who was volunteering at their tent. Another similar organization is Give Pets a Chance. W.A.G.S for Kids provides animals for the disabled.

Although dogs outnumber the other pets, there were other animals romping around the grounds. Diva, a brown mini donkey, and Boo, a grey zebu, came from Dusek Farms in Hinckley. Melissa Dusek is on staff at North Royalton Animal Hospital. Emma, a baby goat, posed for a photo with Sue Workman, and Rebecca and Jessica Gentile. A turtle also slowly made an appearance at the gazebo, wearing a colorful bow on its shell. The Cleveland Metroparks brought the K-9 Unit and demonstrated how these dogs are trained to help detect drugs, apprehend, and perform article and people searches. Officer Michael Kort and his dad, Retired Officer Kim Kort, along with Gambit, a 1-1/2-year-old K-9, showed the audience how the K-9 is trained to act on command. Commands are given in a foreign language so that it is a unique communication between the trainer and the dog. Gambit is certified and must be recertified each year.
One of the highlights of the pet carnival is the Pet/Owner Look Alike Contest. A record 15 entries came out this year decked out in various themes trying to win over the judges and take home the First Place prize. A panel of three judges carefully weighed the qualities of each entry before coming up with the winner. Judges were Dr. Laurie Millward, Margo Coleman and Mayor Bob Stefanik.

Some of the entries included Noah and his owner, Chris, both sporting salt and pepper colors . Lindsey Audino and Phineas were both dressed in OSU gear. Lindsey said they are alike because she likes to talk and Phineas like to bark. Inge Sabitsch and her German Shepard, Kosmo, came dressed as Harley Davidson bikers. Ultimately, top prize went to Sophia Smirnes and Fefe, her 12-week-old Toy Pomeranian, both adorned in a hot pink ballet tutu.
“This year’s event has surpassed all the others,” said Dr. Adam Hechko of the North Royalton Animal Hospital. “We love seeing a celebration of all the animals that brings the community together. We are happy to offer this event that draws together the residents of North Royalton as well as many other communities.”