KIPU — Penny Cistaro, director of the Kauai Humane Society, said events like the Fast and Furriest held Sunday at the KHS facility are being held at shelters around the country.
“This is a classic event,” she said. “It’s a friend-raiser, not a fund-raiser. People come and have fun with their pets, and each other.”
There was a fundraising portion, which was an opportunity for Servco Hawaii to showcase its Subaru Loves Pets campaign. Lisa Yamaguchi flew in especially for the event to encourage people to contribute to Gomez’s Galley, a pet food program for the pets of people in need.
Yamaguchi was able to squeeze in answers to people’s questions about the Subaru, which was decorated with doggie prints for the occasion. But she was kept busy with the variety of friendly competition, for which she served as a judge alongside Jan Woo of Barkaroo Bakery.
Beth Haddock took in the event with her dogs Duke and Bella. “I thought I would come see what this is about because I have a busy week coming up next week,” she said.
Haddock won first place with Duke in the pet/owner lookalike competition.
Parker Reed finished second with her Dugge, followed by Norman Brand taking third with Angel. Emcee Ron Wiley joked that Norman was Gabriel since the dog was Angel.
“They’re all rescues,” said Carol Ann Davis who took photos for the lucky winners. “Angel — that’s a name given by the person who reported her — was rescued in Koloa. She didn’t take her tail out from between her legs for more than a year, but now she’s fine.”
Angel went on to take top honors in the peanut butter eating contest, although it was found out after she had won that she was in the wrong division.
Davis said the other two dogs with Angel were also rescued dogs, one from Omao and the other from Waimanalo.
“Bruno was on the verge of being put down,” Davis said. “When they found him, his hair was matted and when they tried to cut it, he tried to bite them. If I was in him, I’d bite them, too. When I found out, I called the shelter and said I was coming to get him. He must’ve been beaten a lot because you couldn’t touch his head when I first got him. Look at him now. He’s a sweetie.”
In addition to the friendly competition, pet lovers could visit a variety of stations for resource material, samples and other pet-friendly goods and information.
“The last time we did something like this was in 2010, the Love A Dog event,” said Laura Lee of the Kauai Humane Society. “It was really big with more than 300 people attending. But it took a while to get to that level. After a five-year break, this is starting all over.”