San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

September 29th, 2009
City honors Pet Fest

San Marcos Mayor Pro Tem Pam Couch declared Oct. 10 as “Pet Fest Day” to honor the efforts of Pet Prevent A Litter Society (PALS), Grande Communications, and the San Marcos Animal Shelter in aiding needy pets in San Marcos. Front row, left to right: Couch, PALS president Kate Shaw, PALS executive director Sharri Boyett, PALS treasurer Annette Berry, and PALS voucher team representative Mary Lou Katchen, Back Row, left to right: City Councilmembers Kim Porterfield, Fred Terry, Gaylord Bose, and John Thomaides, Grande Communications’ Molly Ann Garcia, artist of Pets Personified Rene Ramirez and San Marcos Animal Services manager Bert Stratemann. Photo by Don Anders

On Oct. 10, Prevent a Litter (PALS) of Central Texas, Grande Communications, and the city of San Marcos will play host to the seventh annual Pet Fest, taking place from 1 a.m. to 6 p.m. at San Marcos Plaza Pavillion Park, 401 East Hopkins Street. Admission is free, but attendees are requested to bring a donation of dry pet food.

This celebration of pets welcomes all properly restrained animals, with nice manners, to attend. If you are looking for a pet, a variety of adoptable animals will be on hand from area shelters.

A popular feature is the dog wash, with proceeds benefitting PALS. Once your canine is clean and gorgeous, a PALS photo booth is available to capture the moment.

A Pet Fest 5 K Run/Walk will begin prior to the festival at 8 a.m. Dogs are welcome to participate with their runner companions. There will be all-ages Fun Runs (1 mile and 1/4 mile) beginning at 9 a.m.

Some of the family-friendly events planned for the day include a blessing of the animals conducted by Reverend Bruce Wilson, trick dogs, dancing dogs, a dancing miniature horse, face painting, a moon jump, a slide and train rides.

The nationally famous Circus Chicken Dog will have shows at 11 a.m. and noon, featuring juggling, rope spinning, giant bubbles, balancing acts, a Frisbee dog, a performing parrot and more. A special demonstration is planned by the K-9 unit of the San Marcos Police.

There will be contests and prize opportunities for pets of all kinds, including guardian and pet look-alikes, best pet costume, best trick, best pet from a shelter and many more.

If you feel you have a photogenic cat or dog, submit your photo entry by Sept. 28 for a chance at pet prizes. If you have a rescued pet story to tell, enter the “Touching Tail” essay contest by Wednesday for a chance to tell your story. Winning entries will have their “tail” published in the PALS newsletter and will also receive a special prize.

Submit all photos and essays to or mail to Contests, P.O. Box 401, San Marcos, TX 78667.

Additional events at Pet Fest include the annual Weenie & Chihuahua Races and a silent auction which, this year, features a guitar signed by Willie Nelson and many other items.

The event will have music performed by Rick Bowen, Marilisa from Trio del Rio, Paul Wilson, Holly Aiken, James Conchola, Molly Haynes and Adam Donmoyer.

Presented by Grande Communications and the city of San Marcos, other sponsors of Pet Fest include Invisible Fence, Stokes Construction, Thermon, CFAN, Auto Medic, Guadalupe Valley Dog Fanciers, Petco, Diamondback Landscaping, McCoy’s Building Supply and Pets and Moore. Additionally, the Grande G-Force vehicle will be on hand and Grande volunteers will be participating.

Pet Fest is PALS’ largest fundraiser of the year. In addition to generating donations, the purpose of the event is to generate public awareness for the needs of animals, promote responsible pet guardianship and celebrate the human-animal bond. PALS is a non-profit organization whose mission is to help end pet overpopulation and homelessness in central Texas through educational and spay/neuter programs. PALS helps pets and their owners by distributing free sterilization vouchers to residents of Hays and surrounding counties who cannot otherwise afford to fix their pets.

More information can be found on the PALS website at

Circus Chicken Dog is among the featured entertainment at Pet Fest.

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