Pet Walk and Fair comes back to Fair Lawn

Chris Bernardo
By Chris Bernardo September 24, 2015 08:00 Updated

The place was River Road. The day was Sept. 12. The occasion was the 2nd Annual Pet Walk and Fair on River Road, and the reason was for the community to celebrate their four-legged family members.

Pet Walk and Fair comes back to Fair Lawn

Clowning around with Companion Animal Advocates’ four-legged friend.

And that they did. The community came out in droves with their pets to meet and greet other local pet owners. The vendors and organizations who attended also celebrated the community’s fur children, and brought goodies for the dogs and occasional cat who passed by.

Companion Animal Advocates of Hillsdale had some treats for the dogs and cat toys at their table. My Best Friend Grooming Salon, located at 12-50 River Road, provided discounted nail clippings and free pet pedicures. Columbia Bank provided waste bag dispensers to pet owners. Creature Comfort Animal Therapy of Morris Plains gave pet owners emergency information cards and the Bergen County Animal Shelter and Adoption Center of Teterboro provided emergency kit bags along with a pamphlet on how to prepare them.

Even though there were many pets at the event that already had families, there were others present who did not. Many of the adoptable pets at the event came with their caretakers from the Bergen County Animal Shelter and Adoption Center. The shelter has recently implemented a policy where all of their adoptable pets remain at the shelter until they have homes. By going to outreach and adoption events, they have been able to adopt out about 85 percent of their pets in the past year.

Each of the available pets are temperament tested by behaviorists on staff and are taught basic commands with the help of the staff behaviorist and volunteers. The temperament tests allow the staff to gauge what type of home situation would be ideal for each pet. This in turn helps them to place each pet with the right family, and reduces the chance of being placed in the wrong setting.

In addition to evaluations and adoption events, some of the pets even have Facebook pages. One such pet is Gator. He has been living at the Bergen County Animal Shelter for two years, and has been patiently waiting for his forever home. The efforts put forth by the staff and volunteers have done so much to get each of their adoptable pets a good home.

Another organization in attendance at the Pet Walk and Fair was Companion Animal Advocates. They may not adopt out pets, but they do something just as good. They help people who are struggling keep their pets.

“Companion Animal Advocates is not a rescue or a shelter,” explained President Patty Halko. “We actually help people keep their pets in their home.”

On hand to promote pet health at the event was Fair Lawn Animal Hospital located at 24-25 Maple Ave. Their clientele consists mainly of dogs, cats and small animals. They perform all necessary services required to keep a pet healthy: vaccinations, spay/neuter services, well and sick visits and more.

Camp Bow Wow of Elmwood Park and Midland Park was also present. They represented an innovation in pet care that most people don’t really think about: socialization. Even though pets learn how to be social with adults, children and maybe even the cat, they need to learn how to socialize with other dogs too. Camp Bow Wow offers pets the opportunity to have such experiences. They get to play and socialize with dogs their own size and can also have sleepovers.

Owner Mike Monks explained, “We have doggy day care and overnight boarding. The dogs get to play with other dogs, inside and outside, under the supervision of our camp counselors. The dogs are grouped by size, and by temperament. So little dogs get to play with little dogs, instead of getting trampled by a bunch of big dogs. We also have webcams, so the pet parents can go online and see what’s going on in the play areas any time. We offer overnight boarding. So when a dog stays overnight, they get private quarters for sleeping and mealtime. And then they get to go play with their pals in the play areas during the day.”

In a bit of a twist, Creature Comfort Pet Therapy was at the event representing what pets can do for people. They visit children and adults in hospitals. They visit the elderly in nursing homes and bring comfort and happiness to those they spend time with. The benefits of time spent with therapy animals include: a decrease in depression and anxiety, speeds healing, provides comfort, decreases isolation and encourages communication.

Many facets of pet ownership were represented at the Pet Walk and Fair on River Road. Many members of the community and their dogs (and one cat) had a nice walk to meet and greet new friends. The event helped to bring awareness to options for pet care and socialization.

This event has the potential to become a tradition that expands and educates one and all.

Chris Bernardo
By Chris Bernardo September 24, 2015 08:00 Updated

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