By Lee Stephens….
Pinecrest Gardens was the site late last month of a pet-friendly event attended by more than 1,500 people and their animals. The PAWareness Pet Fair, sponsored by PetSmart, was coordinated by Paws4You Rescue and other local rescue organizations in an effort to raise money and help adoptable pets find permanent homes.
Pinecrest Mayor Cindy Lerner was on hand to help kickoff the outdoor fair, which included an array of tasty delights from area restaurants and pet supply vendors. There were hot dogs and hamburgers from Hole in the Wall, as well as various cake and smoothie vendors for those with a sweet tooth. Pets were offered gourmet foods from Doggy Bag Café and specialty treats from B3 Freshly Baked Dog Biscuits and Nuni Cakes. To help everyone stay cool, Costco graciously supplied water.
In addition to satisfying their palates, guests were treated to portrait sessions with pet photographers, as well as contests that included awards for the smallest dog, best costume and an owner-dog look-alike contest sponsored by Girl Scout Troop 70. After the event, Poop 911! made sure the gardens were left as clean as when we started.
The annual PAWareness Pet Fair began in 2009 as a community project by a local Girl Scout troop. As a result of its success, Paws4You Rescue decided to make it an annual event aimed at helping pets get adopted into forever homes. All rescue organizations on hand brought adoptable animals. The South Florida SPCA even brought some mini horses looking for good homes.
Over $12,000 was raised to benefit the rescues at Paws4You, which in turn enables more lives to be saved from euthanasia at the Miami pound. Not only were applications submitted and great foster and volunteer connections made, but there were families that left with new forever friends.
Interested in adopting? Go to for links to area rescue organizations (and pictures from the festival): Paws 4 You Rescue, The Cat Network, Basset Rescue of Florida, Italian Greyhound Rescue, Hollydogs Greyhound Adoption and Born Free Pet Shelter.