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Sun, July 21

City plans third annual 'Dogtoberfest'

PRESCOTT - Local animal lovers will turn the Yavapai County Courthouse Plaza into a dog haven this weekend - both for the pampered pets expected to show up in a range of costumes, and for the rescued animals looking for a home.

From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, the City of Prescott and a number of co-sponsors will conduct the third annual Dogtoberfest, a downtown showcase for all things canine.

Since the city kicked off the event in 2007, the popularity of the Dogtoberfest has grown. City Special Events Coordinator Becky Garvin estimated that about 4,000 people attended last year's event, which was up from about 2,000 people from the year before.

"We're expecting a bigger crowd this year," Garvin said, pointing out that the event will include about 50 booths on Sunday, compared with the 34 that participated in 2008.

From the time the event kicks off with a 10:15 a.m. Blessing of the Animals, until the last contest starts at 3 p.m., the day will be packed with special activities, including contests for most glamorous, best costume, ugliest dog, owner-dog look-alike, and a dog race.

While the event regularly attracts many dog owners accompanied by their pets, Garvin stressed that the day is also about finding homes for pets without owners.

In 2008, the event helped to adopt 43 dogs into new homes, Garvin said, adding that prospective owners will have plenty of opportunity to find a pet this year as well.

All day long, a variety of rescue groups, including United Animal Friends, the Yavapai Humane Society, Circle L Ranch, the Lucky Club, Greyhound Pets of America, Rescue A Golden of AZ, Miss Kitty's Cat House, PAALS, Dewey Dog Rescue, and Arizona Basset Rescue, will be on hand with dogs and cats for adoption.

Other features of the day will include dog training, a canine "good citizen" certification at The Prescott Dog booth, a Prescott Police K-9 demonstration, and an agility demonstration. In addition, the event will offer a pit stop for pets' grooming and health, and veterinarians also will be on hand for low-cost micro-chipping and vaccinations.

Vendors will offer a variety of treats for owners and pets alike.

The cost for registration is $10 per dog, along with another $5 for owners who want to participate in more than one contest. Registration includes a tote bag filled with about $20 worth of pet items, and the competitions will come with prizes.

Lew Rees will serve as the Dogtoberfest's host.

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