Dog Celebration

Balls Dropping from the Sky

Dog lovers can look forward to a dog- and fun-filled day on Saturday, September 11. That’s when the Dog Festival and Ball Drop will take place at Elings Park, hosted by K-9 Pals, a Goleta Valley organization promoting adoption of dogs from the Santa Barbara County Animal Shelter. The event will raise funds for the care and medical assistance of dogs at the shelter, which is also in Goleta Valley, on Overpass Road.

Agility and flyball demonstrations will be among the festivities, as will a stationary parade of costumed canines and their people, a pet trick contest, numerous booths and vendors, and food and music. Several dog-adoption agencies will have dogs looking for a home on site: Cocker Rescue, Greyhound Rescue, and a Labrador retriever rescue organization will all be there with adoptable pets. The Canine Unit from the Santa Barbara Police Department will also be on hand.

The Great Ball Drop will see thousands of numbered tennis balls dropping “from the sky” via a fire department ladder truck, according to organizers, with some of the balls landing in prize-winning dog bowls and others retrieved by prize-selecting dogs.

Supporters of the shelter may purchase balls at the event, or ahead of time by calling K-9 PALS at 681-4369, in order to have a chance to win a variety of prizes, including brunch at San Ysidro Ranch, brunch at the Biltmore, a stay at a Four Seasons Resort on Maui, and tickets to opening night of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

Visitors bringing their own dogs to the event must have them on a leash.

The county’s shelter takes in an average of more than 1,200 stray and abandoned dogs annually, and depends on the help of K-9 PALS to return more than 50 percent of the animals in its care to their owners.

The non-profit holds trainings on a regular basis for new volunteers. The next two will take place at 2 p.m. on August 28 and September 4 at the shelter, 5473 Overpass Road. Call to register for a training session or for more details about the Dog Festival and Ball Drop.

The dog celebration will take place September 11 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on the fields of Elings Park. Co-chairs of the event are Barb Hershberg and David Caffo.

For additional information, go to k-9

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