MD SPCA Announces 2023 Festival for the Animals

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Dogs who love the water can enjoy a swim at the Festival’s pet pool.
Photo courtesy of the MD SPCA.

Cat and dog lovers are invited for a day of peace, love and paws to raise money for homeless animals

The Maryland SPCA (MD SPCA) today announced the 28th Annual Festival for the Animals presented by M&T Bank will take place on Saturday, September 23 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Padonia Park Club, 12006 Jenifer Road in Cockeysville, MD. Full of harmonious vibes and exclusive tie-dye swag, this year’s event features one big day of peace, love and paws for pet lovers to come together to support the region’s homeless animals.

This year’s theme, a nod to the 1969 Woodstock Festival, aims to inspire unity and compassion toward animals in need. All proceeds benefit the MD SPCA, an independent, local nonprofit dedicated to helping homeless animals via lifesaving rescue and adoption programs, veterinary care, community meals for pets in need, foster programs and more. This year’s Festival fundraising goal is to raise $320,000 to support the more than 2,400 animals rescued by the MD SPCA each year. Animals like Kojo, a dog taken to urgent care after falling off a bridge more than 50 feet high. The owner could not afford the extensive care needed, which included multiple surgeries. Thanks to the MD SPCA and the help of one of their foster families, Kojo is now healthy and thriving in a new home.

“Thanks to the amazing work and care provided by the MD SPCA staff, many of our furry friends are able to find new homes and caring owners,” said Augie Chiasera, Baltimore regional president for M&T Bank, which has supported Festival for the Animals since 2010. “M&T is proud to support the mission of the MD SPCA through charitable contributions, employees’ volunteer time and service on the MD SPCA’s board.”

The family-friendly event is open to all ages with activities for people with and without pets – you do not need to bring an animal, but they are welcome! Furry friends can enjoy a refreshing dip in the pet swimming pool or dog drench splash pad. You can also take your dog through an agility course or lure course. Pets who prefer to relax can partake in a Spaw Day for a fresh hairdo or pawdicure or even unleash their inner artist and create paw painting art.

A family attending last year’s MD SPCA’s Festival for the Animals. Photo courtesy of Mary Chico Photography.

Attendees can participate in one of the Festival’s longstanding traditions, a “march” for the animals, participate in our scavenger hunt, visit vendors offering pet services and merchandise, make crafts like cat and dog toys, stop by Windy Valley Farms for breakfast and Padonia Park Club’s Grille for lunch and much more. This year’s vendors include Feline Felons Cat Cafe, Baltimore Humane Society, BARCS, Kids 4 K9s, Camp Bow Wow of Towson, Dogtopia of Towson and Dan Cohen Home Team. A variety of contests will be available for entry, including “Best Dressed Pet,” “Best Hippie Pet Costume” and “Pet/Parent Look-Alike” Cats will also be available on-site for adoption from the MD SPCA.

Individuals and teams can register for this year’s peer-to-peer (P2P) fundraising campaign, called the Giving Game, leading up to the Festival as the MD SPCA encourages everyone to help animals find compassion, care and a forever home. For example, if attending the Festival isn’t something your feline friend would enjoy, you can create a campaign on their behalf, providing a wonderful opportunity for cat owners to actively participate and share in the excitement. Every dollar raised counts, with donations covering costs such as $10 to microchip a pet, $100 to spay/neuter a pet and $750 to provide food, shelter, medical treatment and enrichment for a pet’s stay at the shelter. Fundraisers will earn points and receive exciting prizes along the way, with a chance to win autographed merchandise and VIP tickets to a Baltimore Ravens game. Sign up at support.mdspca.org/festivalP2P.

“The Baltimore Ravens have proudly supported the MD SPCA for the past decade,” said Ravens Chief Sales Officer Kevin Rochlitz. “We encourage our fans to come out for the festival and join us in making a difference in the lives of local animals in need.”

Tickets start at $29.99 per person and include entry and a t-shirt, with options to purchase tickets that include the event’s most popular premium pet activities. Children under 14 can attend for free. All pets must be on a leash or confined in a stroller, and owners must attest that pets are up to date on vaccinations. Pets wearing shock collars will not be permitted in the pool or splash pad areas. To register, donate and for a full list of Festival activities, visit support.mdspca.org/festivaltixs.

The MD SPCA Festival for the Animals is sponsored by M&T Bank, ATI Performance Products, Baltimore Ravens, Boehringer Ingelheim, Joe’s Bike Shop, Professional Arts Pharmacy and VCA Animal Hospitals. Sponsorships and vendor space are still available. Contact Meg Davis at mdavis@mdspca.org to learn more.

About the Maryland SPCA

Founded in 1869, the Maryland SPCA improves pets’ and people’s lives by providing education, veterinary services, and humane care. It empowers communities to treat animals compassionately; delivers quality pet health care to keep pets in loving homes; and saves vulnerable cats and dogs with adoption, foster and admissions services. The MD SPCA is an independent nonprofit that receives no funding from (and is not affiliated with) the ASPCA or local government. For more information, visit mdspca.org.

Follow the MD SPCA on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter.

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