On the shores of the Lachine Canal, hundreds of dogs proudly displayed their humans and their skills at the Second Annual Dog Fest Montreal over the weekend of August 26 and 27.
The result of a lifelong love of dogs, Dog Fest is an idea that Fabio Broccoli and Billy Alfonso of Perennial Events came up with as they discussed their business. Last year`s first edition was created to not only be a celebration of all things dog related, but also as a way to counter the Pitbull Ban.
« We did it last minute last year as the climate in the city was so bad from the Ban, owners scared because all these animals were being euthanized, it was horrible, » explains Mr. Broccoli, « and we wanted to do something to bring awareness. »
This year`s Fest addressed the ongoing Ban by welcoming an information booth with lawyers and activists present to help frustrated owners. There was also a « Kiss a Pitbull » booth to help visitors see that the animals are not dangerous, it is the owners who make them so.
But the sour note struck by the Ban was countered by two days of canine celebration. Owners from across the city and around the province came to offer their dogs a chance to test their speed and agility on obstacle courses and show off in competitions. There were also presentations by local merchants and dog toy manufacturers, dog treats, food and care products. There were even several dog beauty salons.
Fabio and Billy, with their own dogs Dino Luigi and Disco, were thrilled that the turnout surpassed last year with over 2000 visitors. Partial proceeds of all their events go to charity organizations and Dog Fest 2 was no exception.
« We always donate 15% of the net profits our events generate to worthy causes. For last year’s Dog Fest we worked with Gerdy’s Rescues. This year we are with the SPCA. » Explains Dog Fest co-founder Alfonso.
The two friends look forward to the 3rd annual Fest, and in the meantime are working on a Winter Pet Expo for some time in March 2018.