Whether you’re looking for a Chihuahua, a Labrador or a silly, charming mixed breed of puzzling origins – dog or cat – your future best friend may be waiting to greet you at one of the festival’s many participating rescues.
The seventh annual free family-oriented fair, the region’s largest adoption event, returns to its original Liberty Station location at NTC Park, 2455 Cushing Road. Event hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free parking is available in Lot I on Cushing Road and elsewhere.
“It’s a good location for everyone, accessible with good free parking,” explained founder and organizer Jude Artenstein, a filmmaker and “Pet Lounge” creator.
This year’s festival will be the largest ever, with more rescues, more pet-related vendors and a new emphasis on pet-related activities and education for children. Friendly, well-behaved leashed dogs are invited to accompany their humans.
Every year, throngs of happy residents encircle the pet enclosures, eager to meet that special dog or cat – or even a pair – that’s their perfect match.
About 25 to 30 local rescue organizations, including many breed-specific groups and public shelters, will bring an array of pooches plus a few courageous cats ready to settle into their “forever” homes.
Festival attendees can browse about 100 vendor booths offering a diverse selection of pet-related supplies, food, services, training and pet care information, all geared to improving the health and well-being of companion animals.
A silent auction supporting the festival will offer a wide array of goods, including Padres tickets, hotel suites and a basket of restaurant passes geared to the fervent foodie.
This year’s Doggie Street Festival Hero Awards will honor KUSI-TV meteorologist and jazz musician Dave Scott and San Diego VCA Hospital Manager Vilan Vlasov for their ongoing commitments to promoting pet adoption and supporting the festival’s goal of saving pets’ lives.
Artenstein created the festival to promote adoption and contribute to ending the euthanasia of homeless pets.
Every year, the festival helps rescue groups find homes for more pets. In its early years, about 100 dogs found forever homes through the festival. More recently, that number has doubled to about 200 and now includes cats. Because of the festival’s success, Artenstein replicated the festival in Los Angeles, now entering its fourth year on Sept. 19. The festival also debuts in Phoenix Nov. 28.
“My dream is to host Doggie Street Festival in 20 cities across the country,” Artenstein said. “This event is extremely effective at increasing dog and cat adoptions. I hope that a sponsor or 'angel' steps forward to help me make that dream a reality. Together, we can make a huge and meaningful difference in the lives of our deserving companion animals.”
For more information, visit doggiestreetfestival.org.