Festival for dogs and their owners to benefit charity

Festival for dogs and their owners to benefit charity

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Festival for dogs and their owners to benefit charity

Petfest 2012, which will be organized on June 2 and 3 especially to benefit stray animals, has implemented some safety regulations that require pet owners to carry their dog’s vaccination cards with them.

Pet owners around Istanbul have been invited to enjoy a festive weekend with their beloved furry friends at Istanbul’s favorite festival venue, Parkorman, with the goal of benefiting animal-related charities. Sponsored by pet food firms Pedigree and Whiskas, PetFest 2012 will take place June 2 and 3 and will feature competitions for teams made up of pets and their owners.

Designed as a social responsibility project, proceeds from the event will contribute to the rehabilitation of the Gürpınar DOHAYKO Animal Shelter, the Ortaca Animal Shelter and the Büyükada (Prinkipo) Animal Shelter. The festival was organized especially to benefit stray animals. Festival tickets are available at www.biletix.com.

The festival’s program includes a competition to select the dog that walks in the greatest harmony with his or her owner, as well as other events such as a “timed track and field race,” a competition for “pets with special talents,” and a pet and owner look-alike contest.

The festival arena also has a playground for kids, and the program includes informative seminars and workshops for pet owners, as well as entertainment.

Surprises from festival sponsor

Stage actress Tuna Arman, who is known for her animal rights activism, and Master of Ceremonies Ercüment Şansal will be hosting the festival. Participants will have a great weekend swaying to tunes from Radyo Voyage.

Participants at PetFest 2012 should also expect surprises: Kuzey Insurance, one of the sponsors of the festival, will provide complimentary microchipping for all dogs brought to the arena. Microchipping equips the pet with a microchip for permanent identification, which can become crucial if a pet becomes lost. A microchip is about the size of a grain of rice, and consists of a tiny computer chip housed in a type of glass made to be compatible with living tissue. The microchip is implanted between the dog’s shoulder blades, under the skin, with a needle and special syringe. The process is similar to getting a shot. Little to no pain is experienced – most dogs do not seem to even feel the chip being implanted. Once in place, the microchip can be detected immediately with a handheld device that uses radio waves to read the chip. This device scans the microchip, and then displays a unique alphanumeric code. Once the microchip is in place, the dog must be registered with the microchip company, usually for a one-time fee. Then, the dog can be traced back to the owner if found.

No kitties allowed

Unfortunately, cats are not allowed at the festival for safety reasons. But this does not mean that they are excluded from the festival altogether. Whiskas’ Facebook page has been conducting a contest called “Tell us about your cat.” The competition asks cat owners to share their favorite anecdotes about their kitties, and the 20 stories that receive the most votes will be exhibited in the festival arena.

The festival’s safety regulations require pet owners to have their dog’s vaccination cards with them. The Environment and Forest Ministry, which administers the festival venue, has official security regulations which forbid certain dog breeds listed as “dangerous breeds” from entering the venue, including pit-bull terriers, Japanese Tosas, Dogo Argentinos, and Fila Brasileiros, even if they are mixed-breed dogs.