Veterans Memorial Park in Colusa, on Saturday, went to the dogs, literally.
Friends of the Colusa County Animal Shelter hosted its first successful Puptoberfest on Oct. 12, attracting quite a few people with and without their four-legged family members.
The first-of-its-kind event featured a dog walk, costume contest, lawn games for kids, vendors, a photo booth, and raffles, along with treats for the dogs and food and drink for the two-legged variety.
Molly Conrado, a longtime volunteer with FOCCAS, organized the event to raise money to help cover expenses at the animal shelter that are not covered by the Sheriff’s Department.
“This was a thought about a year ago when I fostered a litter of puppies,” said Conrado, an Arbuckle Elementary School teacher. “I just wanted to do more. I wanted to help more.”
Although Conrado initially considered having just a dog walk, the event blossomed into a festival, thanks, in part, to a large amount of support from local sponsors.
For an inaugural event, Puptoberfest exceeded her expectations.
“I’m overwhelmed,” Conrado said. “I’m so grateful to everyone in the community that helped and came out for it. I want Puptoberfest to become an annual event, and from the turnout, I think we can make it an annual event.”
In addition to a dog walk to Will S. Green Park and back, dogs of all breeds were paraded about in a costume contest dressed as superheroes, insects, and pumpkins, among other characters. Supervisor Kent Boes brought his bulldog, Harvey, dressed as a bullfrog.
Gift baskets were given to Pete the Clown, for first place; Miss Mo as Wonder Woman, second, and Groot as Yoda, third.
Pepper and her human, Jennifer Roberts, of Arbuckle, won the 50/50 raffle, but donated the $190 back to FOCCAS. Denise Conrado won the quilt raffle.
Vendors included Miss Mo’s Kissing Booth (McNary Moore); Lori’s California Kitchen; JV’s Grooming; Shelly Kittle, Norwex independent consultant; Fairview Photo Booth, SAUCED food truck, Grindstone Wines, The Tap Room, and FOCCAS. The Colusa Lions Club, which provided the straw bales, also offered free water for people and dogs.
Vendors donated a portion of their proceeds or $20 to FOCCAS, as a way of support.
“I’m really thankful for everyone who came out and all the help we had,” Conrado said.
Participants said the Pubtoberfest was not only a fun event that supports a good cause, but also an enjoyable event that supports fun-loving dogs, and mainly helps with their socialization skills.
Jamison Porter, 11, of Arbuckle brought his 2-year-old Labrador/Pit Bull mix dressed as a She-Devil.
“She’s never been to a dog event like this,” Porter said. “She’s very friendly. She never really gets out to see other dogs, so this was a great event for her. She was happy to see everyone and was a good girl.”
Robbie Andreotti, who brought her six-month-old shelter rescue, Chewy, said Pubtoberfest was lovely.
“It’s was a beautiful day,” said Andreotti. “A lot of people came out with their pets and it was a great way for pet lovers to get together with community members to support FOCCAS, whose goal is to increase pet adoptions through outreach programs, provide community education about animal care, improve living conditions at the shelter, and implement a spay/neuter program.
Andreotti, a longtime volunteer with Wags and Whiskers Pet Rescue, found four Colusa Animal Shelter inmates their forever homes at an adoption event the week prior to Puptoberfest. ■