‘Pet Rock’ to benefit animal welfare organizations


Region – On Sunday Sept. 9 from noon to 5 p.m., E.J. Candies, of Sturbridge; the Animal Shelter Inc. of Sterling; Worcester Magazine; and Pet Smart will present "Pet Rock: A Benefit for the Animals" at Quinsigamond Community College, 670 West Boylston St., in Worcester.

A family-oriented festival, the primary purpose of Pet Rock is to promote responsible pet ownership and care through education. It also brings attention to other animal issues at a fun-filled day for participants and their dogs. Pet Rock also boasts live music, a variety of vendors, carnival games, prizes, raffles, kids rides and more than 200 animal breed rescue groups, shelters and animal welfare organizations.

Pet Rock, the only show of its kind and the largest pet expo on the East Coast, presents attendees with a chance to learn about any pet-related gift, product or service imaginable.

Pet Smart and Citadel Stations (WXLO, Oldies 98.9 and 100.1 The Pike) are providing the music for this ninth annual musical animal benefit. Bands at this year's event include local favorite Pet Rock (the band) and R&B powerhouse The Valves.

WXLO will be conducting "The Cutest Pet Contest," with first prize being a trip to Aruba (for the humans). The "Blue Dog Group," with Frisbee-catching dogs, will also be performing.

This year there will be an appearance by the Zoom and Groom doggie bathing van. The Boston Animal Rescue League will perform rescue demonstrations and will have its mobile spray-andneuter unit on site.

Prizes will be awarded to law enforcement officials who help apprehend perpetrators of crimes against animals; cash prizes will go to shelters and rescues. Proceeds benefit New England-based animal welfare organizations.

Dogs are welcome, but all other animals must stay home. The festival includes dog contests (with categories such as "owner-dog lookalike" and "best vocalist"), a free rabies clinic and lowcost micro-chipping sponsored by VCA Hospitals, doggie massages, the adoptable pet parade, professional photos with your pet, cat photo contests, ID pet tags engraved while you wait, tryit yourself agility contests and the popular doggie water park to cool off .

Check out www.petrockfest. com for updates.