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A dog day afternoon at Central Park

Canines of all types up for adoption in area’s first Rock, Walk and Wag event

Posted: April 27, 2013 9:06 p.m.
Updated: April 27, 2013 9:06 p.m.

Jaiden Bly, 7, left, and brother Ezra, 4, pet a dog during the Rock, Walk and Wag in Saugus on Saturday. Photo by Dan Watson.

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The dog days of summer came early to Santa Clarita’s Central Park this year as thousands of residents and their four-legged friends turned out for the first Rock, Walk and Wag event, put on by the Angel Dogs Foundation.

Leashes in hand, attendees worked their way past lines of vendors offering pet-specific wares such as harnesses, collars and treats, often as their dogs ran to and fro to meet other canine companions.

The event included reduced fee pet adoptions from the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control, Kern County Animal Control and the Best Friends Animal Society.

Michelle Sathe, a program and development director for Angel Dogs and the event’s organizer, said more than 20 animals, both cats and dogs, had been adopted about four hours into the event.

“We also wanted to give homeless pets from different shelters a chance at finding a new home,” Sathe said Saturday.

In addition to adoptions, Angel Dogs provided a microchip clinic and low-cost pet vaccinations. Spay and neuter services were also offered at the event.

Sathe said the event was envisioned as a way to raise awareness about pet overpopulation and the ways it can be avoided.

This is the first year Angel Dogs has put on the event, but the goal is for it to become an annual affair, according to Sathe.

She estimated as many as 5,000 people would turn out for the event from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

While many attendees brought one or two pets, Lancaster residents Alyson Galderisi and John Mullaney brought their own miniature pack of five dogs.

“We were on our way back from the vet and we decided to stop by the dog park,” Galderisi said Saturday. “We had no idea this event was even going on until we got here.”

But both said they were pleased to have come across the event.

“It’s great,” Mullaney said Saturday. “I’m surprised by how big the turnout is and how many services they are offering.”

Angel Dogs is a low-cost, nonprofit, mobile pet program that provides spay and neuter surgeries, vaccinations and microchipping.

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