Murray • A chorus of barks, yips and whines sounded through Wheeler Family Farm on Saturday afternoon as hundreds of Utahns chaperoned their pets at Salt Lake County Animal Services’ seventh annual Petapalooza.
The event featured food trucks, a pet psychic and pet rescues for all animal lovers to visit. But the main goal was pet adoption — as Salt Lake County aimed to break its record of 150 pet adoptions in seven hours.
A spokesperson said Saturday night that they had at least 130 pets adopted on Saturday, but were still finalizing the numbers — which included 76 dogs adopted, 45 cats adopted, and nine “little critters” like hairless guinea pigs or rabbits adopted.
The event had an “amazing turnout” and was busy all day, said Salt Lake County Animal Services spokesperson Callista Pearson. Hosting activities like Petapalooza is critical for the rescue community, Pearson said, since rescues are still recovering from not holding events during the pandemic.
“These events are really important to them to be seen, to get animals adopted, and then when they get animals adopted, that makes it able for them to pull animals from the shelters, and then foster them and then get them adopted,” Pearson said. “It’s a domino effect — they get adopted, then they pull animals from us, and then we have more room for animals in our shelter. So it’s all a win-win.”
Attendees of Petapalooza included dogs of all shapes and sizes, cats in backpacks and even a duck in a stroller. One of the most popular vendors was a pet photography station, complete with hay bales and pumpkins for the purr-fect pet picture.
Liz Dranow said she has provided pet portraits at every Petapalooza. Patrons of the booth paid a $10 fee for the portraits, which went directly to Salt Lake County Animal Services.
“It’s good awareness for the community to see all of the different rescues and stuff here, and it’s great for the shelters to get animals adopted,” Dranow said. “I enjoy this and getting out and just taking pictures of all of the people with their pets, whether it’s new adoptions or [longtime pets].”