Jackson Demaray, 9, gets to know Randy, a lab mix, during the  Detroit Zoo’s fall 2016 Meet Your Best Friend at the Zoo event.  This year’s fall adoption event will take place Sept. 14-15 at the Detroit Zoo.

Jackson Demaray, 9, gets to know Randy, a lab mix, during the Detroit Zoo’s fall 2016 Meet Your Best Friend at the Zoo event. This year’s fall adoption event will take place Sept. 14-15 at the Detroit Zoo.

File photo by Sean Work


Pet-themed events coming to Royal Oak

By: Sarah Wojcik | Royal Oak Review | Published September 12, 2018

 Speck, a rescued mutt, runs a relay during a prior Barktoberfest event.  Barktoberfest will take place Sept. 15-16 at Memorial Park this year.

Speck, a rescued mutt, runs a relay during a prior Barktoberfest event. Barktoberfest will take place Sept. 15-16 at Memorial Park this year.

File photo by Donna Agusti

ROYAL OAK — This weekend, the phrase “dog days of summer” will undergo a physical manifestation with two separate dog-themed events planned in Royal Oak.

The Detroit Zoo will host Meet Your Best Friend at the Zoo, a semi-annual large-scale adoption event in the parking lot beneath the zoo’s iconic water tower Sept. 14-15, and the Royal Oak Chamber of Commerce will present Barktoberfest, a pet-themed festival in Memorial Park Sept. 15-16.

From noon to 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 14, and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15, more than 20 local animal welfare organizations will bring hundreds of immediately adoptable dogs, cats, puppies and kittens to the zoo.

All animals will have received a medical checkup and age-appropriate vaccinations, and adoption fees and policies are set by each organization. Adopters must present valid identification and are advised to leave all current companion animals at home for health and safety reasons.

The adoption event will take place beneath tents, with no charge for admission or parking. Regular admission and parking fees will apply, however, for those visiting the zoo.

Since its inception in 1993, more than 25,000 dogs, cats and rabbits have been adopted during the spring and fall Meet Your Best Friend at the Zoo events.

“We and our partners have been bringing hundreds of homeless pets to the Detroit Zoo for more than 25 years,” Michigan Humane Society President and CEO Matthew Pepper said in a statement. “This selection makes our event arguably the best place for families to adopt their newest loved ones.”

From 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15, and Sunday, Sept. 16, members of the public are encouraged to bring their furry companions to Barktoberfest, a dog-friendly Oktoberfest-themed event at Memorial Park. Admission will cost $5 per person and be free for children ages 10 and younger, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit Detroit Dog Rescue and the Royal Oak Animal Shelter.

All dogs must be leashed at Barktoberfest.

The event features craft beer, live music, pet-related shopping and contests. Last year, Royal Oak Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Shelly Kemp said it drew thousands of pet lovers to Memorial Park.

“Barktoberfest encourages residents to leash up their dogs and come out to the park to enjoy locally brewed craft beer, food and live music,” Kemp said in a statement. “With the popularity of craft beer and pets being the focus of so many businesses, Barktoberfest creates a destination event that owners and their four-legged friends can enjoy together.”

She encouraged those who adopted a new pet from the Meet Your Best Friend at the Zoo event to stop by Barktoberfest to browse the more than 30 pet-related vendors selling pet fashions, unique gifts, homemade gifts, dog food and more.

Live bands at Barktoberfest will include the Orbitsuns, the Gasoline Gypsies, Joe Jaber & the Last Divide, and Mad Rabbit, as well as the Highland Travelers, which is a Tennessee-based bluegrass band.

Participants can register their dogs for the pug run, costume contest, weiner dog races or the brand-new ugliest dog contest at the chamber information booth, with prizes donated by sponsors and exhibitors.

The Detroit Zoo is located at 8450 W. 10 Mile Road, west of Woodward Avenue.

Memorial Park is located at 31050 Woodward Ave., north of 13 Mile Road.

For more information about Meet Your Best Friend at the Zoo, call (866) 648-6263 or visit www.michiganhumane.org/zoo. For more information about Barktoberfest, call (248) 547-4000 or visit www.royaloakchamber.com.