Courtesy Photo

On Saturday, October 1, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., CARE4Paws will be hosting its 8th annual Wags N’ Whiskers Festival at the Santa Barbara City College West Campus. This free event is the largest animal festival on California’s Central Coast.

The festival features adoptable dogs, cats, and bunnies from 20 animal shelters and rescue groups. Spectators can enjoy watching dog agility, military dog drills, animal training, and more. Kids won’t want to miss meeting “Little Star,” an amazing mini-therapy horse as well as majestic wolf hybrids from WHAR Wolf Sanctuary.

At 1 p.m., the “Strut Your Mutt” Pet Fashion Show offers three costume categories: Superheroes to the Rescue, Pet-Owner Lookalike, and Hippie Hounds, Cool Cats & Bodacious Bunnies. The top three winners in each category will receive great prizes from Lemos Feed & Pet Supply. Pet owners can register for the fashion show at here or at the event from 10 a.m. to noon. The entry fee is $15 per category and $5 for adoptable pets.

Dr. Courtney Campbell will be the emcee for the Pet Fashion Show. Dr. Campbell is the host of Pet Talk on National Geographic Wild and he regularly appears as a guest expert on programs such as The Doctors, Live with Kelly and Home & Family.

New this year at the festival, the Paws Up for Pets Youth Center will have fun games and animal trivia for kids. There will also be an “Animals Have Feelings, Just Like Us!” youth art contest where 10 finalists from the Boys & Girls Club will receive prizes on stage.

Aside from the fun activities and shows, Project PetSafe will be on hand to provide low-cost vaccines, microchipping and licensing for dogs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The festival raffle and silent auction features great prizes, including a trip for four to Disneyland.

Here’s the full stage schedule:

11 a.m.: Welcome from Isabelle Abitia

11:15 a.m.: Adoption animals

11:45 a.m.: Military working dogs demonstration

12:30 p.m.: Paws Up Kids

1 p.m.: Pet Fashion Show

2:15 p.m.: Agility Demo

3 p.m.: Little Star in center ring with kids

The host of Wags n’ Whiskers, CARE4Paws, is a Santa Barbara County nonprofit whose mission is to reduce pet overpopulation, keep animals out of shelters, and improve quality of life for pets and pet owners in need. Services include free spays/neuters, bilingual community outreach, humane education, and intervention programs that keep animals in their homes.

Since 2009, CARE4Paws — short for Community Awareness, Responsibility & Education — has worked to reduce pet overpopulation, prevent dogs and cats from ending up in shelters, and inspire a greater sense of compassion and accountability for animals in Santa Barbara County and beyond.

To learn more, see or call 805-968-2273.

CARE4Paws does its important work with help of community donations and grants. If you’d like to support their programs, simply click here to make a tax-deductible donation.

Whether you’re looking to adopt a pet, vaccinate your pet, watch a pet fashion show, or have an afternoon of animal entertainment, the CARE4Paws’ Wags N’ Whiskers Festival has something for the entire family!


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