While thousands of pet lovers and hundreds of their furry friends typically flock to William S. Hart Park to attend the Bow-Wows & Meows Pet Fair, this year was a bit different.
Instead, the Bow-Wows & Meows Pet Fair went virtual, as organizers flooded their Facebook page with posts of the animals available for adoption at all seven L.A. County Animal Care Centers, which included plenty of dogs and cats, as well as some turtles and rabbits.
Each pet available for adoption was given their own post, with photos and videos showing them being their cute selves and that featured volunteers and animal control officers, helping to show off each of their best features.
“I really think that they were the one that made this happen for this animal because they spoke so compassionately and so personally, and it really felt nice to see that these were real people, taking care of real animals,” Bow-Wows & Meows founder Yvonne Hanson said. “We tried to get videos on every animal, and that happened for almost every animal, … but the fact that they were able to do that, I think it really brought life to the event.”
These, along with other posts, which featured education and training tips, as well as contests, challenges and pet memes, were released every couple of minutes through the two-day event.
Valencia’s Dr. Howie Baker of the Happy Pets Veterinary Center participated, sharing tips on how to get pets prepared for an emergency, which included having a sturdy leash or carrier for your pet, along with their vaccination records, among other things.
Castaic Animal Care Center volunteers also shared tips of their own, such as Randi Andrews, who talked about senior pets.
“We have many senior dogs at the shelters in need of homes,” Andrews said. “Sadly, they’re often overlooked, because people are looking for younger dogs or puppies, but senior dogs make the greatest pets, especially for older people or those who lead a less active lifestyle.”
Others, like The Brittany Foundation Animal Sanctuary, a local no-kill shelter, and Marcia Mayeda, director of the county’s Department of Animal Care and Control, stopped in to show their thanks for Bow-Wows & Meows, who were celebrating their 20th anniversary this year.
“Over the years, Bow-Wows & Meows has saved thousands of animals from the animal shelters and found them new loving homes,” Mayeda said, “and we’re so grateful for Yvonne … and her volunteers that provide so much support and put together such an amazing event.”
While it wasn’t the way Hanson envisioned celebrating the organization’s 20th year of helping to find the county’s animals a forever home, it was successful nonetheless.
“This had a life of its own,” Hanson said. “because I think people think it’s important. … I think they want to do what’s right, and I think they care about the animals. It’s something they can do. They’re able to forward it or share, and people got really involved.”