Celebrate animals this weekend at the Seventh Annual Arizona Animal Fair! One of the largest events of its kind in the Southwest, the fest takes place in Tucson's Reid Park this Saturday from 10-4 p.m. Entry is free and all proceeds from the entertainment, food, and other activities go back to the animal-rescue community. Make your furry friend a star with Puppy Pawcasso or Glamour Paws Pet Photography, or get a holistic opinion with pet blessings and pet-psychic readings. There will also be a super adoption area with hundreds of available animals and rescue groups for everything from burros to birds, reptiles to rats. Even if you're not in the market for a new pet (and Fido and Fluffy have other plans), among the demonstrations going on will be canine freestyle, rescue dogs, and the Miniature Horse Association's "Petite Elite," showing off their powerful pulling skills for their little sizes.
Founded by a Russian Orthodox nun in 1965, The Hermitage Cat Shelter started out with about 50 cats as lifetime residents. When Sister Seraphim entered a nursing home in 1989, a board of directors took over the management and began adopting out the cats. The shelter is now both an adoption center and a sanctuary for special-needs cats, including those who are FIV and FeLV positive and cats with other chronic health and behavioral problems such as partial paralysis, neurological problems, blindness, deafness, missing limbs, and diabetes. This shelter is the state's first no-kill, no-cage sanctuary that helps even those felines that are not considered adoptable by other organizations. It's comprised of 4,000 square feet indoors and an additional 4,000 square feet of fenced-in, covered, outdoor play space for those fresh-air kitties.