On Sunday, Nov. 4, Roxbury Park transformed into Beverly Hills’ 10th annual dog festival.
Woofstock 90210 brought dog owners and pet vendors together for a family fun event. The Beverly Hills Services Department invites pet adoption agencies and rescue foundations every year to promote their causes.
The day began with the Old English Sheepdog Rescue parade.
Danielle Behar, a 23-year volunteer with the Sheepdog Rescue, proudly showed her stuffed animal sheep dog—her stand-in dog for the afternoon.
“Sheepdogs are unique because they’re a lot of hard work,” she said. “Not just anyone can take care of one.”
The Old English Sheepdog Rescue finds foster homes for the unwanted purebred sheepdogs in the community.
The day was broken up by costume parades and talent shows. Pet owners were given the opportunity to showcase their dogs, some in costume and some with tricks and talents.
Twenty years ago, a group of volunteers created the Golden Retriever Rescue foundation in Southern California.
One of the golden retrievers that walked across the stage was a rescue. Larry was taken in by a foster family one year ago, and was one of many rescue dogs at Woofstock. They match their golden retrievers in need like Larry. The rescue group visits events like Woofstock Beverly Hills to promote their adoption work, while otherwise operating online.
“When I first started, there were over 100 goldens with us,” said Jim Skydell, a long-time volunteer and dog owner.
Skydell explained the financial crisis in 2008 caused a lot of people to give up their dogs. Families simply couldn’t afford to take care of them anymore. Some had to move into apartments and couldn’t bring their dogs with them. Today the rescue group has on average ten dogs in their care or at the vet getting treated.
Skydell said their work is also about fundraising.
“We spend about $300,000 a year taking care of dogs. We take care of them even if they just need a microchip or exam.”
Many of the rescue organizations at the event described a similar need for funds. Lucy Pet Products boasted that they sold products with a cause. The founder Joey Herrick wanted to ensure his work would live on after him, so he created a pet business to fund the Lucy Pet Foundation. From his initial check to his total 2.5 million dollars in donations, Joey was inspired to save the 60,000 dogs and cats euthanized each week in America.
His pet product business funds a giant blue bus where animals in need are treated by volunteer vets. The bus is labelled “Spay and Neuter Mobile”. In five years, they’ve performed over 16,000 surgeries free of charge.
“I was a tech on this bus for two years,” said David Hidalgo. “I know the good you can do in areas where one might not be able to afford help.”
He explained few are willing to pay the $600 to get their dog neutered when there is rent to pay. This causes more puppies to end up in pens, continuing a never-ending cycle for rescue groups.
The event hosted over thirty-five pet-related vendors spread over Roxbury Park. From dog photography “dography” to Muffin’s Halo, there was something for everyone.
Muffin’s Halo has helped over 30,000 blind dogs all over the world. The halo prevents dogs from bumping into walls. The simple product comes in all shapes and sizes for different breeds. Beverly Hills personally invited the founder Silvie Bordeaux to the event. They wanted her there advocating for the blind dogs.
Many people visited Bordeaux’s table throughout the day and were moved by her cause. Those with older dogs were especially touched, as their dogs were beginning to get cataracts.
“All day people keep coming to my table crying, saying, ‘Oh my god, this is the greatest thing. This will help my blind dog.’”
Bordeaux invented the halo herself, as a protector for blind dogs.
“My dog Muffin went blind," said Bordeaux. "People were telling me I should put him down, and I was devastated. I was determined to find a solution for him, so I did.”
Beverly Hills' Woofstock 90210 allows passionate pet vendors and agencies to stand behind their cause and advocate for dogs in the area. For more information on the foundations at the event call (310) 285-6830 or visit the Woofstock site here.