"We want to make this event as inclusive as possible -- something that the whole family can enjoy," said EVHS Director Bryan Canty in a news release. "The bottom line is this: We must increase our visibility in order to educate and create a social awareness to solve the plight of pet overpopulation in Bartow County. Spaying and neutering is imperative, but since the problem exists, it is incumbent upon us all to assist in any way. There are many great homeless pets that need forever homes. In fact, EVHS will have adoptable animals on site."
On Saturday, the festival will run from 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. at Sam Smith Park, 1155 Douthit Ferry Road in Cartersville. Along with musical acts performing throughout the day, Woofstock also will include food vendors, inflatables, pony rides, low-cost vaccinations and a dog behavioral instruction clinic conducted by 1997 Canine Frisbee Disc World Champion, Melissa Heeter. Some of the other offerings will be a "Ruff 'n Roll" Idol competition starring already selected contestants and a "Grateful Dog" pet parade and contest. Pet owners will be able to enter their cats or dogs into the contest for $5 each. Registration will begin at 10:30 a.m., with the parade following at 11 a.m. There also will be a 5K run/walk, which starts at 8 a.m. at the Cartersville Soccer Complex, 152 Milner Road.
Admission to the festival will be $5 for adults and free for youth 12 and younger. Proceeds from the event will help support the Etowah Valley Humane Society.
Open since 2006, EVHS' 4,928-square-foot shelter at 36 Ladd's Mountain Road in Cartersville costs about $240,000 per year to manage. The shelter consists of two staff offices, a quarantine room, one visitation room, 14 temperature-controlled kennel runs, a cat room with 31 cages and a puppy room with 24 cages.
Since the EVHS is funded solely by private donations, fundraisers and adoption fees, events like Woofstock are integral to its operation.
"It saves lives of literally thousands. Last year, I think it was close to 10,000 animals that were euthanized," said EVHS Fundraising Chairwoman Ansley Choate. "So the more money that we raise, it helps to keep our facility operating. It provides [assistance for] medical [needs], the vaccinations that they need, the food they need, the staff that works there. And the more animals we can get in and get back out, the more we can take in from [Bartow County] Animal Control from next door.
"[Being involved in this organization,] it's opened my eyes to the needs for education on spay and neuter. We wouldn't have these problems if we just had a simple law that had people spay and neuter their pets. Also I think just the organization itself [is amazing]. ... I started on the board because I wanted to help the animals, and it was also something that I felt my children could become involved with. But just the side benefit has been the friendships that I've made just through the hard work that it takes to fundraise for the organization. I also would like to say that in the time I've been on the board I think one of the big blessings has been Bryan Canty as director. I feel like the money is being spent very wisely. I would feel badly if I didn't feel like it wasn't being used in the best way possible and I feel under his direction people can know that it is."
For more information or to register for the 5K race or pet parade, call Choate at 770-655-3387 or the EVHS, 770-383-3338.