Bring your best friend or find a new one at BARKtoberfest - East Valley Tribune: Pets

Bring your best friend or find a new one at BARKtoberfest

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Posted: Wednesday, October 3, 2012 9:17 am | Updated: 1:51 pm, Sat Oct 12, 2013.

Many of us have attended or at least heard of the popular fall celebration, Octoberfest.

But in the world of dogs, an East Valley-based animal rescue group is hosting its own annual fall-themed event: BARKtoberfest. There won’t be any beer or brats at the event, but maybe some wieners — as in wiener dogs.

From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 13, the nonprofit Friends for Life Animal Rescue, a no-kill shelter in downtown Gilbert, is hosting the event at the Gilbert Town Center, 50 E. Civic Center Drive.

Recently selected as the Tribune’s 2012 “Best Place to Hang Out with Your Dog,” the 13th Annual BARKtoberfest will feature arts and crafts, live entertainment, a dog wash, dog adoption events, raffles and a pet and owner look-a-like and best trick contest, among other activities.

The event is free, but donations are accepted for some activities.

The shelter began a special adoption drive on Sept. 11 that will continue through Oct. 13, with adoption fees for dogs ranging from $25 to $50. Regular adoption fees for dogs and cats vary throughout the year, said Kelly Mixer, volunteer public relations director for Friends for Life. Included in those fees are microchips and vaccinations for the animals and spaying or neutering.

Funds raised from BARKtoberfest will provide aid for homeless cats and dogs, and those who have adopted a dog from Friends for Life can participate in the alumni parade at noon.

Friends for Life Animal Rescue is located at 143 W. Vaughn Ave. in downtown Gilbert between Elliot and Guadalupe roads.

The shelter has about 20 dogs and 25 cats at its adoption center at the shelter, and about 40 animals in foster homes, Mixer said.

A number of the dogs classified under the adoption special have been in the shelter for a year or more. That’s why there is a push to find homes for those dogs at reduced fees through BARKtoberfest on Oct. 13.

“Don’t wait too long,” Mixer urged. “These are great dogs that deserve a second chance.”

The shelter is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesday and Friday, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday, and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.

Friends for Life also offers cat adoptions through the PetSmart store at the northeast corner of Stapley and Baseline roads in Gilbert from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Last year, Mixer said Friends for Life adopted out 248 dogs and 175 cats.

For more information, Friends for Life can be contacted at (480) 497-8296, through email at PR@azfriends.org, or by visiting www.azfriends.org. Friends for Life also can be followed on Facebook and Twitter.

“We’re all-volunteer run (with about 400 volunteers), so everyone does this out of the goodness of their heart,” Mixer said. “About 2,500 people attend the event, and we’re hoping to see that many attend this year’s event. Any dollar that is spent, that is money that goes to these animals we rescue. Being a nonprofit organization, we really appreciate any help we get to help these animals.”

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