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Fest is fun for pets, benefits Antietam Humane Society

October 20, 2008|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. -- Tyke towered over his lone competitor and easily became the paws-down winner of the "Biggest Pet" title at Sunday's Pet Fun Fest in Waynesboro.

Long before his category was called, the Great Dane was "hugging" his handlers by placing his paws on their shoulders. His class came in the midst of a half-dozen others, including "best dressed," "most vocal" and "best trick."

Kristine Wildeson of Waynesboro said it took her Jack Russell terrier "about five treats" to master rolling over on command.

"That's his newest trick. He's very quick," Wildeson said.

The Pet Fun Fest was held outside Summitview Elementary School immediately after the 17th annual Walk for the Animals. Officials with Waynesboro's Antietam Humane Society expected to make about $3,000 from the events, which benefit general shelter operations.

With 80 cats awaiting adoption at the Lyons Road shelter, cat litter and food have been in great demand.


"That's the need right now. Cupboards are bare," said Candy Clopper, executive director of the Antietam Humane Society.

Thirty walkers sought sponsors for the 2-mile walk, which kicked off at 1 p.m. and had higher participation than in 2007. Beginning in January, the Antietam Humane Society will join with local veterinarians to offer low-cost spaying and neutering events.

Clopper said she sees a lot of the same people at shelter events and described them as "good, solid supporters who are with us through thick and thin."

Pam Ungerer of Hagerstown praised the Antietam Humane Society for allowing her to take a collie/golden retriever mix home for a trial period to determine how he would relate to her other dog. She eventually adopted Brody.

"It's not just finding a pet. It's about finding the right pet the right home," she said.

Ungerer brought both her dogs to the Pet Fun Fest and remained back a few feet from the crowd. She corrected the dogs every time they created a commotion.

"I like to come to anything dog-related to socialize my dogs. I need to teach them manners around other dogs," Ungerer said.

Trisha Davis' German shepherd mix, Trooper, showed curiosity about his surroundings, a vast improvement compared to 18 months ago when he was found abandoned along a road. The shy dog used to hide behind Davis' legs all the time.

Adoption is important, "so they realize there's a better home out there," Davis said.

The Greencastle, Pa., woman recently opened Eye Spy Grooming and used Trooper to show off the nail polish the salon offers.

"Everyone likes the nail polish and painting," she said.

Bud and Melissa McElfish of Cumberland, Md., entered their border collie, Jack, in an agility demonstration. Jack has been learning patience as he tackles obstacles while in training at Good Dog in Greencastle.

Weaving through poles tends to be the most difficult part of an agility course for dogs to master, according to April Barr of Good Dog.

"It's not a natural behavior," Barr said.

She said many breeds can excel in agility training.

"You have to attend a basic obedience course and sometimes repeat it, depending on your performance in class," Barr said. The dog also must obey when not on a leash, she said.

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