Our task must be to free ourselves… by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. ~ Albert Einstein
By Mary O’KEEFE
The healing power of pets has been well documented. The child that will not relate to family members but bonds with a dog or cat, those who are facing a life threatening illness being uplifted by a pet and those who feel less alone when they become a pet parent.
Wags ‘n’ Whiskers/Kids ‘n’ Kritters will celebrates that connection this Sunday in Montrose.
“This is the 10th year for Kids ‘n’ Kritters and the ninth for Wags ‘n’ Whiskers,” said Linda McMenamin, events coordinator of Montrose Shopping Park Association (MSPA). MSPA sponsors the event that takes place in the 2200-2400 blocks of Honolulu Avenue in Montrose and includes a petting zoo, kid rides and a parade of animals.
The MSPA introduced Kids ‘n’ Kritters nine years ago; Wags ‘n’ Whiskers was folded into the event as a fundraiser for the Glendale Humane Society, McMenamin said.
Glendale Humane Society is a no kill shelter. Alyce Russell, executive director for the shelter, said Wags ‘n’ Whiskers is a special event.
“So many of the walkers [during the parade] are previous adopters,” she said. She added that everyone who adopts an animal from the shelter goes through a pet parenting class. She said that some potential pet adopters are resistant to take a class.
“[Folks will] say, ‘I’ve had dogs for 30 years and never took a class,’” she said. But Russell is firm and has told those future pet parents that if they took the canine parenting class and did not learn something new or did not find value in the class, she would pay for the adoption.
“I have never had to pay,” she said. “You know, 90% of the dogs in shelters are there for behavior issues and 80% of those [animals] can be traced back to the owner [not training].”
In addition to potential adoptees being at the Wags ‘n’ Whiskers and Kids ‘n’ Kritters, there will be a “low key” parade at 8 a.m. and the day continues with many activities for kids, kritters and everyone else. Pets can be registered for the parade at the Glendale Humane Society booth on Honolulu Avenue.
There will be raffles throughout the day and contests including pet and pet parent look-alikes. Vendors that specialize in animal merchandise and animal rescue organizations will line Honolulu Avenue.
A “kid zone” will include a bounce house, rides, a petting zoo and pony rides.
“It is a big weekend for kids,” McMenamin added.
Seven years ago, Prom Plus Taste of Montrose was added to the event. A $20 ticket gives guests a taste of cuisine from over 20 local restaurants. The funds raised go to Prom Plus, an organization that is approaching its 20th year.
Prom Plus is a party provided by community members for Crescenta Valley High School seniors and their guests after prom, from midnight to 5 a.m. The organization began after a tragic murder of a CVHS senior in 1991. She was attending an unsupervised after-prom party at a hotel in Anaheim. A young man entered the room where she was sleeping and fatally shot her. The community responded by creating Prom Plus.
The organization partners with the Crescenta-Cañada YMCA, along with many other businesses and community supporters, in creating a safe, fun place for high school seniors with activities that include a zip line, mechanical bull, bungee run and full casino. All of this costs about $25,000 and Taste of Montrose is one of Prom Plus’ biggest fundraisers.
For more information about Prom Plus, visit www.promplus.org. Tickets for Taste of Montrose can be purchased at the Prom Plus booth at the Harvest Market on Sunday in the 2200 and 2300 blocks of Honolulu Avenue. Tickets can also be purchased at several local businesses including CV Weekly, Merle Norman Cosmetics, CV High School, CV Chamber of Commerce, Montrose Verdugo Chamber of Commerce and the UPS Stores in La Crescenta, Montrose and Glendale.
For information on the Glendale Humane Society, visit www.glendalehumane.org or visit their booth at the Harvest Market on Sunday.
Information on Montrose Shopping Park Association can be found at shopmontrose.com.
The Sunday Harvest Market will still be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Honolulu Avenue will be closed to traffic in the 2200 and 2300 blocks.