Pet lovers unite: This weekend is filled with pet events

By: Victoria Mitchell | Royal Oak Review | Published May 17, 2017

ROYAL OAK/CLAWSON — What do you get when you host two animal-loving events throughout the area in one weekend? A cornucopia of tail-wagging, sloppy kisses and “furever” friends.

The spring edition of Meet Your Best Friend at the Zoo and the 12th annual Claws & Paws take place this weekend, and both events are free to the public for entry and parking.

Claws & Paws

Whether you are looking for a new addition to the family or just want to have a fun-filled day with your pet, Claws & Paws is your destination and will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 20, in City Park at Elmwood and Custer avenues in Clawson.

The event is presented by the Clawson Chamber of Commerce along with help from local groups and residents to offer a fair, adoption event and 2-mile pet walk.

Preregistration for the pet walk costs $20 and ends May 18. Those registering after the 18th or on the day of the event will pay $25. All pets walking will receive a goodie bag with a bandana, treats and toys, and humans will receive a T-shirt, hot dog, bottle of water and fruit after the walk.

Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Mary Sames said the walk will take place rain or shine.

“It doesn’t bother the animals, it only bothers the humans,” she joked.

Sames said the walk isn’t just for dogs either. She said that in the past, people have brought kittens that they kept in carriers or even in their pockets.

“The walk starts at 11 a.m,” said Mayor Penny Luebs. “The public is welcome after the walk for pet adoptions, vendors, games, prizes.”

Highlights will include a pet costume and trick contest, and for the first time, a pet pedicurist — who will not only clip nails, but will  also offer decorative manis and pedis, including nail tattoos — will be at the park. Sames said the county will not be on hand this year providing vaccinations, microchipping and licensing. She said VIP PetCare donated coupons for $10 off vaccinations that will be available at the event.

“Overall, it’s a fun day to bring your dog and interact with other pets and kids. It’s just become a real popular event,” she said.

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Meet Your Best Friend at the Zoo

The Detroit Zoo and the Michigan Humane Society — in collaboration with more than 40 local animal welfare organizations — will host the spring 2017 Meet Your Best Friend at the Zoo from 1 to 7 p.m. Friday, May 19, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 20, under tents in the Detroit Zoo’s front parking lot beneath the water tower at the corner of 10 Mile Road and Woodward Avenue in Royal Oak.

Event organizers said hundreds of dogs, puppies, cats and kittens will be available for immediate adoption to qualified families during one of the largest pet adoption events in the country.

Since the inception of Meet Your Best Friend at the Zoo in 1993, more than 23,000 pets have been placed into new homes at the spring and fall events.

Adoption fees and policies are set by each participating group, and adopters must present a valid driver’s license or state ID card. 

Organizers said some of the animal groups are more breed-specific rescues, while others carry a variety of cats and dogs.

Another neat aspect of the event, organizers said, is giving shelters that don’t necessarily see a lot of foot traffic, and rescue groups without brick-and-mortar buildings, a chance to showcase all of their animals for a large audience of people looking to adopt.

The event is hosted over a two-day period to give those considering adoption a chance to think about their decision overnight and return the next day.

All future pets on-site will have received a medical checkup and age-appropriate vaccinations. 

Organizers said a get-acquainted area will be available to provide guests an opportunity to spend time with an animal before adopting. 

For health and safety reasons, other animals are not allowed to attend the event. Strollers must be parked outside of the tents before entering.

For more information, visit