Pet prepping

Precise tricks are routinely rehearsed. Unrestrained wags are artfully coaxed. Sloppy kisses are openly encouraged - all in preparation for that one special outing - that one day when the animals take center stage and do their owners proud - the annual Animal Faire.

This yearly fundraiser for the EMC SPCA has proven to be a favorite year-after-year for both the two-legged and four-legged attendees.

It’s the one day that dogs can wrap their furry coats in surprising costumes, without the embarrassment of being teased or laughed at - okay, maybe there’s a snicker or two. Perhaps a bumble bee, skunk, ladybug or pumpkin best suits your dog’s fancy. After all, selection is key to secure a winning spot in the Best Costume contest.

If “dressing up” doesn’t excite your pup, other “tongue-drooling” competitions are offered -Newspaper Fetch, Best Wag, Best Kiss, All-American Dog Show, Best Trick, and the Yolk’s on You.

The 17th annual Animal Faire, with Madera County District 5 Supervisor Tom Wheeler again serving as Master of Ceremonies, will be held Sunday, Oct. 4 at the Oakhurst Community Park.

As always, the kick-off to the day is the Tails on the Trail One Mile Walk, this year led by mascot, Bogey. Sign-ups begin at 10:30 a.m., with the walk beginning at 11. Competitions begin at noon, and it has become tradition that Father Gordon Kamai of Christ Church blesses the animals at 1 p.m.

Other faire activities include games, flyball, microchipping, pet photos, and a raffle with scores of great items. Raffle winners will be announced at 3 p.m.

The proceeds from this fundraiser, just as with all the EMC SPCA events, will be pooled to meet the long-term goal of building a Mountain Area no-kill shelter.

“This event is not only a great fundraiser for the EMC SPCA shelter project, but also allows folks to bring their entire family (two-legged and furry four-legged) out for a day of fun,” President Sharon Fitzgerald said.

“It’s really important when a family adopts a pet that they realize the responsibility it brings and that they treat that pet as they would any family member. We believe this event helps showcase that philosophy.”

The EMC SPCA, a non-profit, 501 (C) (3) organization, receives no government funding, relying solely upon donations. The group has been working diligently for 25 years to realize the dream of an area shelter.

Details: (559) 642-6611.