Home Arts & Entertainment People and Pets bring furry friends to Ford Fieldhouse for LaughFest

People and Pets bring furry friends to Ford Fieldhouse for LaughFest


Little Dog by Jessica LangowskiBy Lauren Winther

Pet lovers from all around gathered at Grand Rapids Community College Sunday afternoon to participate in LaughFest and spend some quality time with their furry companions.

The event, People and Pets, took place at the Ford Fieldhouse, which was filled with attractions designed to make any pooch happy.

According to Jimmy Lee, Board of People and Pets Committee member, People and Pets was created a few years ago designed for a more family atmosphere.

“It started four years ago, we wanted an event that was free, geared towards children and family and also pets.”

 Gilda Radner’s dog was a huge inspiration when forming this event.

“Gilda Radner use to have a dog named Sparkle and the dog use to really help the people with cancer feel relieved and make them feel happy. The dog was a big part of Gilda’s so we wanted to tie that in with this event,” said Lee.

Dogs of all sizes could enjoy a picture with their owners, free massages, free pedicures and free Yesterdog hotdogs.

Pet owners could also participate in raffles and enter their pets into different contests, including the pet look-alike contest.

Photo by Lauren Winther
Macklin, a 5-year-old Boxer mix from Mackenzie’s Animal Sanctuary.

Owners also were able to visit booths to check out pet-friendly programs, organizations, art and toys.

Mackenzie’s Animal Sanctuary was one of the many booths set up to inform attendees. The booth was staffed by former GRCC student, Ariel Christy-Hillard, 24, Jennifer Harring, 33, and Macklin a 5-year-old Boxer mix who was up for adoption.

“Mackenzie’s is the largest no kill shelter in the Midwest for dogs,” Hillard said.  “We take dogs from other shelters in the area and there’s no time limit. Some dogs can be there for three months, three years or forever.”

Hillard and Herring were aiming to get the word out about Mackenzie’s Animal Sanctuary.

“We’re hoping to gain some more recognition at Mackenzie’s and what we stand for,” Harring said. “The more people know about Mackenzie’s the more they can help and maybe we can gain some volunteers or sponsorships.”

About 100 people attended the People and Pets event.

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