Story by Kayanna Reid
Petlovers gathered at San Antonio’s Fruit Fusionz for the Petoberfest on Sat. Oct. 20. Several organizations participated, including Reitred Military Working Dogs, San Antonio R.O.C.K.S., Talk About It, and the Animal Defense League. The event was held to promote awareness of feral animals and the importance of neutering, as well as bringing dogs and cats out of the shelter setting for adoption.
Sherry Corley, volunteer manager of the Animal Defense League, regarded the Petoberfest as a great opportunity to gain recognition.
“We’ve been around since 1934,” Corley said. “That’s longer than the Humane Society, and everyone knows about them. We just don’t put ourselves out enough. That’s why we’ve started to do these events.”
The Animal Defense League is a high-traffic shelter. Only the week before they had found homes for 88 dogs and cats. Their expectations were just as high for the Petoberfest.
“We’re the only true no-kill shelter in San Antonio,” Corley said. “When we’re full, we’re full. We have to turn new arrivals away. That’s why we work hard to train and socialize these sweet hearts. They need homes.”
With food and slushes provided by Fruit Fusionz and face painting, balloon animals, and small shops provided by community members, families flocked to the festival.
Gabriel Daniels, age 13, was very serious about the matter and had saved up his allowance to donate to the organizations.
“I always like to hear the messages these people have to share and find ways to help animals,” Gabriel said. “I hate those commercials of skinny, dirty, sad-eyed animals in cages. It doesn’t make you want to call and donate. It makes you want to change the channel.”
His mother, Ashley Daniels, grinned as she cuddled their newly adopted dog, Macy, whose tongue continuously hung out from a brain disorder.
“Celebrating Halloween made finding the perfect dog fun,” Daniels said, “and I love all the dogs in costume. Adopting pets is the only way to go because these animals need a family.”