The Fifth Annual Pasco Pet Fest will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, October 7, 2017, at Florida Estates Winery – 25241 Highway 52, Land O’ Lakes, FL. Attendees of this pet-friendly, free event will enjoy wine tasting, music, food, vendors, adoptable pets, and a silent auction/raffle in a beautiful Pasco County setting. Close to 50 vendors and rescue organizations are scheduled to attend.
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, 6.5 million companion animals enter shelters across the nation each year. This is putting a severe burden on shelters, resulting in approximately 1.5 million shelter animals being euthanized annually (670,000 dogs and 860,000 cats). A goal of Pasco Pet Fest is to help local pet rescue groups to nurture and find permanent, loving homes for homeless and abused pets, and to promote pet adoption and responsible pet ownership.
The event, with expected attendance of 1,000 people, is founded and organized by Trina Messano of Doggie Cakes and her husband, Jason Longo, who also works at nearby Saint Leo University. For 2017, the proceeds will be donated to Florida Skunk Rescue, Inc., a local nonprofit domestic skunk rescue and education group. “If you have been to Pasco Pet Fest in the past, chances are that you have seen or met the skunks,” explained Trina Messano. “The rescue has participated in Pasco Pet Fest since it started in 2013, and this is their year!” Many other rescue groups will be present with their adoptable dogs, cats, and messages.
Frank “The Geezer” Hewlett, a musician who performs hits from the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s, will reprise his role as entertainer and master of ceremonies. Jason Longo is a big fan and shared, “Attendees bring blankets and lawn chairs, and spend the day much to the credit of Frank’s good music and personality.”
Brother Apollo from the Saint Leo Benedictine Abbey will offer a pet blessing during the after 2 p.m. This will be the second year that the Abbey has attended and blessed pets after a prayer for all animals.
Students and parents from Anclote High School in Tarpon Springs are returning for their fifth year as volunteers. Trina Messano stated, “Without our volunteers, putting on an event of this magnitude with so much attention to detail would not be possible.”
Wine tastings will be offered for $20 per person with a large portion of the proceeds being donated directly to the charity. Donations from the Florida Estates Winery will also include all tips, as well as $1 for each bottle or .50¢ per glass sold. Licensed and leashed pets are always permitted on the grounds and interior of the winery, which is open seven days a week.
The event is free to attend, including parking. Pasco Pet Fest is sponsored by Circle of Life Animal Hospital; Doggie Cakes; IERNA’s Heating and Cooling; Jason Longo – Celestial Studios; Leadership Pasco; Nature Coaster.com; The New Barker; Pet Supplies Plus, New Port Richey; Reeves Subaru; Proly, Laporte & Mulligan, P.A.; and Sailwinds Realty. In addition to sponsors, many advertisers and donors of raffle prizes contributed to the cause.
“Pasco Pet Fest has become a tradition. The first Saturday of every October when attendees come from as far as Orlando and Sarasota to enjoy a family- and pet-friendly day among shady oaks and serene cow pastures,” added Jason Longo.
Additional details about the event can be found at www.PascoPetFest.com and on social media at hashtag #PascoPetFest. The website includes an enduring section of pet-friendly dog parks, events, attractions, restaurants, accommodations, and animal welfare organizations in Pasco County.