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City of Edmonton…Pet Friendly Capital of Alberta
As Edmonton looks to rebrand itself, perhaps we should look to our four-legged companions for inspiration. While not everyone enjoys the company of a cat, dog or other more exotic furry friend—you can’t help but notice Edmonton hosts and boasts a variety. Edmonton is a diverse city, where backgrounds and cultures collide, where the “crazy cat lady” and over-exuberant dog owner wave their flags proudly. Perhaps it’s time to formally advertise our passion year round…in fact we already do!
There are multiple festivals in the city which celebrate our pets. In January each year Edmonton is host to the Pet Expo which showcases agility and working animals, rescue organizations, and pet supplies as well as striving to educate--all the while raising money for pets in need. Each June, William Hawrelak Park is overrun by Pets in the Park, a fundraising event for the Edmonton Humane Society and an opportunity for the whole family (including the furry ones) to socialize and take in the atmosphere. Avenue Goes to the Dogs Festival, held in July each year, engages the community through dog demonstrations, canine focused games, doggie-market, and adoption opportunities. Not to forget our feline friends, they have their own exclusive event—The Spring Cat Show hosted by Edmonton Cat Fanciers Club. We Edmontonians can look forward to pet-centered festivals year round.
For those unfortunate to not have a pet of their own at home, Edmonton offers many ways to get your fix: visit the Humane Society simply to socialize and enjoy the company, local garden centers such as Kuhlmans employ fantastic greeters to help you expand your garden, and your local used bookstore, WeeBook Inn, cats will help you pick the perfect novel. Take a walk in one of our many huge rivervalley dogparks—just don’t mind the muddy pawprints on your pants. Of course George and Nero here at the clinic are always willing to welcome guests…especially if you are offering pets.
Edmonton should embrace our love of four-legged companions. Pet accommodations, activity centers, hotels catering to pet owners, doggie bakeries/boutiques are already prospering in the city, but we can always expand. Many major cities across the country have already started “Cat Cafe’s” and restaurants where you and your dog can enjoy a meal together. This may be extreme for some--pets have a special role in each household and this is different for every pairing. The point is that humans have benefited from the companionship of dogs and cats longer than memory, it’s time a city steps forward and announces to the world they pride themselves on it.