BROOKSVILLE — The Humane Society of the Nature Coast's Fur Fest on Saturday will include the usual array of games, shopping and a pet fashion show.
But for the second annual event, at Tom Varn Park, there will be some special visitors that undoubtedly will be putting on their best puppy-dog faces and wagging their tails in hopes of finding loving families.
Hernando County Animal Services will bring the 40 dogs recently rescued from the Our Animal Haus sanctuary east of Brooksville. Canines of all sizes will be available for adoption, from dachshund to Labrador mixes.
"They are all just sweet and loving," said Joanne Schoch, Humane Society director. "And after all they've been through, they deserve a loving home."
Schoch said the dogs have all been checked and tested by a veterinarian, and local groomers have donated their services to prepare the pets for adoption.
Pet owners are invited to dress up their companions for the Petco Fashion Show, from 11 a.m. to noon. Prizes will be awarded in the following categories: beachwear, sports fan, formal wear, themed outfit and pet/owner ensembles. The entry fee is $5 per pet, with proceeds benefiting the homeless pets at the Humane Society shelter.
Other activities include pet photos, a doggie play yard, holiday shopping for pets and pet lovers, food for humans and pets, a bake sale and a thrift store shopping center. An obedience training program will be presented at 1 p.m. by Stillwater Dog Training.
Schoch also encourages folks to watch a presentation at noon about the proper procedure for rescuing pets, and the care and conditions they may require.
"So many people don't understand what Animal Services and the Humane Society need to do" to prepare pets for adoption, Schoch said. "This presentation will discuss what (people) can do to protect the rescued pet and other pets they may have at home."
Admission to Fur Fest is free, but Schoch encourages visitors to bring donations of pet food, including Pedigree adult dog food, Purina Kitten Chow, Puppy Chow and Cat Chow, as well as cat litter and bleach.
"The food supply is really low at the shelter," Schoch said. "The economy has hit us hard."