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Pampered Pets

A pair of tiny entrants in the 2007 Spokane Pet Fest  costume contest.Courtesy of Pet Fest
 (Courtesy of Pet Fest / The Spokesman-Review)
A pair of tiny entrants in the 2007 Spokane Pet Fest costume contest.Courtesy of Pet Fest (Courtesy of Pet Fest / The Spokesman-Review)

Regardless if you’re gone five minutes or five days, you’ll always get a tail-wagging welcome from your dog and cat.

This weekend, you can lavish affection on them at Pet Fest – an all-breed celebration for pets and their people at the Spokane Country Fair and Expo Center.

One of the best things about Pet Fest is that your dog is invited, too.

The annual spring gathering strives to find homes for orphaned animals – including dogs, cats, rabbits, birds and horses – and encourages responsible pet ownership, said Rachael Grafmiller, show promoter.

She said last year more than a dozen shelters and rescue groups placed at least 60 pets.

A portion of Pet Fest profits benefit the Spokane Humane Society. The shelter annually receives between $3,000 and $5,000 from the event, said Grafmiller.

Pet Fest is held in spring when shelters typically overflow with homeless animals’ newborns and abandoned or unclaimed pets trying to fend for themselves.

This year, perhaps the biggest draw will be an inspirational rescue dog called Faith. Born with just functional back legs, the Chow mix has mastered walking upright and even tags along on hikes, said Dori Peck with the Spokane Humane Society.

Faith’s inspirational tale has catapulted her to celebrity status. She’s wowed TV audiences on Oprah, The Ellen DeGeneres Show and National Geographic Kids, according to a press release.

Nowadays, Faith gets the royal treatment when she travels.

“She only flies first-class and she’s staying at the Davenport Hotel,” said Peck., adding she’s scheduled to meet the dog at Sea-Tac Airport and drive her and her owner, Jude Stringfellow, to Spokane.

The bipedal pup will visit guests at the Petco booth both days, from noon to 5 p.m.

Also on today’s schedule are Hyperflite Skyhoundz, flying-disc-catching canines; dog talent and obedience contests; K-9 police dog workouts; wiener dog races; a pet costume competition; and a Hamster Roller Ball Derby.

On Sunday, look for dog agility demonstrations; an animal safety course, the Ruff Revue Dancing Dog Team and the all-new Taco Derby Chihuahua Races.

Pet Fest also features an array of specialty vendors selling pet clothes, toys, treats and accessories.

Fifteen animal shelters and rescue organizations from around the region will be ready to process on-the-spot adoptions, Peck said.

An estimated 50 pets, dogs and cats, will be available, Peck said. “They’ll be ready to go – vaccinated, spayed or neutered and micro chipped.

A full schedule and pet admission criteria are listed at