From left, Lynesia Barry, 13; Alondrell Barry, 15; and Alania Barry, 12, all of Redford, interact with Daphiny, their newly adopted 1-year-old Boxer mix, during the fall 2018 Meet Your Best Friend at the Zoo event.

From left, Lynesia Barry, 13; Alondrell Barry, 15; and Alania Barry, 12, all of Redford, interact with Daphiny, their newly adopted 1-year-old Boxer mix, during the fall 2018 Meet Your Best Friend at the Zoo event.

Photo by Erin Sanchez


Three pet events on deck in Royal Oak

By: Sarah Wojcik | Royal Oak Review | Published September 10, 2019

 Four-month-old tabby kittens lounge in  their cage during the fall 2018 Meet Your Best Friend at the  Zoo event. The  event will take place  Sept. 13-14 this year.

Four-month-old tabby kittens lounge in their cage during the fall 2018 Meet Your Best Friend at the Zoo event. The event will take place Sept. 13-14 this year.

Photo by Erin Sanchez

 Odie, a 13-year-old rescue terrier, waits for a treat from Bruce Ingram, owner of Doggy Deli, during last year’s Barktoberfest in Memorial Park. The event will take place Sept. 14-15 this year.

Odie, a 13-year-old rescue terrier, waits for a treat from Bruce Ingram, owner of Doggy Deli, during last year’s Barktoberfest in Memorial Park. The event will take place Sept. 14-15 this year.

Photo by Erin Sanchez

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ROYAL OAK — This weekend is for the dogs. And cats. And rabbits. 

The Detroit Zoo will host its fall Meet Your Best Friend at the Zoo event Sept. 13-14; the Royal Oak Chamber of Commerce will host Barktoberfest, a pet-themed festival in Memorial Park, Sept. 14-15; and the Royal Oak Animal Shelter will hold its inaugural dog walk Sept. 14.

Meet Your Best Friend at the Zoo

From noon to 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 13, and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, more than 20 local animal welfare organizations will bring hundreds of dogs, cats, puppies, kittens and rabbits to the zoo parking lot, beneath the iconic water tower, in tents.

The event, a collaboration between the Detroit Zoological Society and the Michigan Humane Society, takes place twice annually — in the spring and fall — and began in 1993.

To date, more than 25,000 dogs, cats and rabbits have been adopted through Meet Your Best Friend at the Zoo, one of the nation’s largest off-site companion animal adoption events.

“It’s a wonderful thing to see hundreds of people meet their new best friend, and we want to help them ensure their new four-legged family members thrive in their new homes by providing information on care and how to create enriching environments for dogs and cats,” DZS Chief Life Sciences Officer Scott Carter said. 

Volunteers from the DZS’s Berman Academy for Humane Education will be on-site to show guests how to provide their pets opportunities to express natural behaviors through toys and treats, choose the appropriate species as companion animals, and demonstrate a “catio,” or cat patio, which allows cats to experience the outdoors while keeping  birds and other wildlife safe.

Each participating group sets its own adoption fees and policies. Those wishing to adopt must present a valid driver’s license or state ID card, and all animals will have received a medical checkup and age-appropriate vaccinations. An area will be available for guests to spend time with an animal before adopting.

Admission and parking for the event are free, but regular admission and parking fees apply for those visiting the zoo. All current companion animals should be left at home.

Barktoberfest

The third annual Barktoberfest will take over Memorial Park from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, and Sunday, Sept. 15. The Royal Oak Chamber of Commerce encourages people and their leashed dogs to come enjoy the fall festival, which focuses on locally brewed craft beer and music.

The cost of admission is $5, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Detroit Dog Rescue and the Royal Oak Animal Shelter. Children ages 10 and younger will be admitted for free.

Approximately 40 vendors will set up booths, selling everything from pet-related products to locally made crafts, and owners will be able to sign up their dogs for a variety of contests, including a costume contest, a look-alike contest, a best trick contest, and wiener dog and Chihuahua races.

“People stay a lot of the day. It’s not an in-and-out show; because there’s live music most of the day, they meet up with their friends there with their dogs, and everybody is just excited to show off their little mutts,” said Royal Oak Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Shelly Kemp. “We have water bowls all weekend that we keep refilling.”

Go for a walk

At 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, the Royal Oak Animal Shelter’s almost 2-mile dog walk will begin at the Royal Oak Golf Course, travel along 13 Mile Road to a neighborhood, and return to the golf course. 

Organizers scheduled the walk to coincide with Barktoberfest, so participants can continue on to Memorial Park afterward.

The walk is a fundraiser for the animal shelter, which is funded by the city of Royal Oak and is operated by the Royal Oak Police Department. A donation of $25 can be made to attend the day of the walk. Kids participate for free. As of press time, a campaign featuring custom Dog Walk 2019 T-shirts had concluded, and there were no more T-shirts available.

More information

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.

The Royal Oak Golf Course is located at 3417 Don Soper Drive, near 13 Mile Road and Coolidge Highway.

For more information about Meet Your Best Friend at the Zoo, call (248) 541-5717 or visit www.detroitzoo.org. For more information about Barktoberfest, call (248) 547-4000 or visit www.royaloak chamber.com. For more information about the Royal Oak Animal Shelter’s dog walk, call (248) 246-3364 or visit www.romi.gov/dogwalk.

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