Woofa-Roo bringing thousands of pets, owners to Amherstburg for fifth year


By Jolene Perron


The Libro Centre will host Amherstburg’s Woofa-Roo Festival this weekend.

On Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m.– 6 p.m., this region’s only pet and family friendly festival will be celebrating our relationships with our beloved pets.

“This is a dynamic weekend with a charitable twist as our festival benefits nine different charities and rescues,” explained Lorene Clayton, Woofa-Roo director/founder. “We enhance their profile with the public, help their fund raising efforts, increase their volunteer base, foster homes and secure homes for animals needing to be re-homed.”

Clayton explained they have been coined as “the festival of smiles” because everyone has such a great time. She said the mood at the Woofa-Roo festival is friendly, funny and focused on bringing people together with common interests – the love of their animals. Even people who aren’t pet owners, or who choose to leave their pets at home enjoy the festival because there is so much to see and do, both indoors and out. With more than 70 exhibitors, there is truly something for everyone.

“All friendly dogs are welcome to bring their responsible owner,” said Clayton. “We do have a pet policy which we ask people to read prior to bringing their pet. With well over 3,000 dogs in attendance we’ve had zero incidents last year because the majority of our public practice good animal stewardship.”

Woofaroo logo

This year, the popular Windsor Police K9 Unit presentation will be taking place in an enhanced event field. They are also expanding their events on this field to include a new game of distraction called The Woofa-Challenge.

Other popular events include dock diving, organized by Ontario Dock Dogs, which is a marquee event drawing competitors from all over the U.S. and Canada. They will also have the dog agility event, which demonstrates the skills of the Border City Barkers dogs.

For a full list of events, visit www.woofaroo.com.

“Our volunteers are among the best and more dedicated,” said Clayton, “many coming back year after year for various reasons. Some love the social aspect of our festival, some need the volunteer hours for their community service requirements but all are there because they love animals. They are an integral part of our festival and we depend on them to keep the wheels turning at our event.”

Admission to the event is $5. Reminder that the entrance is through the temporary driveway off of Simcoe St. and that the intersection of Simcoe St. and Meloche Road is closed.

(UPDATE – Aug. 11 – Please note that the Meloche Road/Simcoe St. intersection is now OPEN. Construction had been expected to take four weeks but the contractor completed the work quicker than originally anticipated.)


Woof-a-Roo Pet Fest coming this weekend


The Woof-a-Roo Pet Fest returns to the Libro Centre this weekend, with dock jumping included again this year. (RTT File Photo)

The Woof-a-Roo Pet Fest returns to the Libro Centre this weekend, with dock jumping included again this year. (RTT File Photo)

By Haley Rose

Whether you have two legs or four the Woof-A-Roo Pet Fest is a place for you.
The festival will be held at the Libro Centre in Amherstburg  August 8-9.  With more than 20 events, including new additions such as Flyball, Castle Lane, a Children’s Zone, Silly Pet Trick Contest, Reptiles & Exotics and more, it’s sure to be a weekend packed full of fun.
Flyball  is one of the new and popular events happening this year. A Youtube video describes Flyball as races of two teams of four dogs each racing side by side over a 51 foot-long course. The racing lane has four jumps spaced out at 10 feet with a box at the very end which releases a tennis ball. Each dog must run down the jumps, release and retrieve the ball and return back over the jumps. The next dog cannot cross the start line without the previous dog returning. The first team to have all four dogs finish the course without error wins the heat. Two clubs will be coming together to organize an CAN/AM tournament that will draw competitors from all over.
“People want to celebrate their animal’s ownership and share their experiences with others,” said Lorene Clayton, Director and Founder of the festival.
Clayton said the support from volunteers, businesses and sponsors so far has been amazing and the loyalty and enthusiasm is greatly appreciated. This community-based event allows people from all over to come together, breaking social barriers and enjoy their common love for animals.
Live stage shows will also take place throughout the weekend, hosted by Toronto’s Barbwire TV as well as Live Entertainment provided by Kelsi Jean.  Attendance is expected to be high with roughly 10,000 people and over 3,500 animals. Approximately 70 vendors will be set up throughout the weekend as well.
Proceeds from the events, Silent Auction, as well as donations will benefit charities and rescues, many of which are focused on rehoming pets in the care for fostering and adoption.
Woof-A-Roo encourages “All friendly pets are welcome to bring their responsible owners”  to this weekend celebration.