Who let the dogs out? Festival celebrates four-legged friends

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BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) -- Who let the dogs out? Beverly Hills has been taken over by a frenzy of four-legged furry friends at the annual Woofstock festival.

Who let the dogs out? Beverly Hills has been taken over by a frenzy of four-legged furry friends at the annual Woofstock festival. The pet-fest includes high fashion events, a talent show, adoptions and a chance for dogs to strut their stuff on stage. Courtesy: AP

The pet-fest includes high fashion events, a talent show, adoptions and a chance for dogs to strut their stuff on centre stage.

Beverly Hills has gone to the dogs, again.

In a city that loves its dogs and where the furry friends can often be seen in designer duds with perfectly coiffed do's - the highly anticipated Woofstock 90210 event was a day for all to come out and have fun.

Dog dressed in their Sunday best are a big attraction of this popular annual day-long pet-fest, where luxury, fashion, talent and good grooming are the order of the day.

This is where Rover gets his 15 minutes of fame.

A premiere pet extravaganza that had pet owners casually, but proudly, enjoying a day with other like-minded people.

It was also a chance for furry friends to congregate with other dogs and sniff out some new mates.

High fashion sightings gave the impression they had just left a Rodeo Drive shopping spree moments ago.

The Pet Talent Show showed off some of the best training skills to get dogs to spin, flip and obey on command.

Thirty five pet-related product vendor speciality booths lined the park allowing guests to stroll and take in the warm California sunshine.

Cindy Brynan, Senior Recreation Supervisor for the Beverly Hills Community Service Department, says about three thousand people show up each year.

"Woofstock 90210 is a pet extravaganza. We have amazing elements here, besides all of our wonderful sponsors, we have about 35 pet-related vendors, all kinds of clothing, dog massage, anything you can think of that your pet would want. We have pet entertainment. We have the Disc Dogs of Southern California. They're high flying disc dogs. They do agilities. Everybody loves watching them. They're really fun. We have food trucks. People get to eat when they're here. They just get to enjoy the pet talent show that we have. This year we emphasize the pet talent show. We have so many dogs that are so talented. People love to see their dogs on stage," says Brynan.

Disc Dogs of Southern California put on two shows with high agility tricks and performances for the crowd.

Dogs were swinging, swaying, and leaping to the crowds enjoyment.

Dog massages were also available if the stress of the day became too much.

Mary Ruth Koogler, Director of Sponsorships for Woodstock 90210 says the event's primary goal has always been to get dogs adopted

"It's been growing every year because more people know about it but because more people have dogs and the dog rescue element in our event has become very respected and very popular. I say we throw a big party. We have everyone come. There's lots of swag and then dozens of dogs go home with a new home," says Koogler.

The dogs up for adoption came from the leading shelters throughout the Los Angeles area.

Many of these dogs face a sad future because of the lack of pet parents to give these animals a home.

Events like this are a good chance to easily bring dogs to the public.

Pet adoptions were co-ordinated by the non-profit The Pet Care Foundation and The Amanda Foundation which find homes for animals.

BilI Crowe, Executive Director of The Pet Care Foundation, says there are not enough people to provide homes for all the dogs in shelters.

"It's been very busy. We've had about 50 to 75 adoptions and we do this because over two million dogs are euthanized every year, simply because of lack of homes and this raises awareness and bring people together with homeless dogs," says Crowe.

There was one famous dog at the event who has saved lives in his own right.

German Shepherd Atlas was brought up on stage in The Pet Parade.

He was the winner of the American Humane Hero Dog Awards for the 2017 Service Dog of the Year Award.

Owner Kenny Bass from Dayton, Ohio, is founder of The Battle Buddy Foundation, a non profit organisation providing highly skilled and trained service dogs for disabled veterans.

"I was a Marine in Iraq in 2003 and I was injured by a roadside bomb when I was there and so he was trained specifically to help mitigate a lot of the issues I have left from that. Through that he's not only saved my life plenty of times, but he's been an incredible inspiration in the veteran and service dog community. Through being paired with him and my experience we ended up founding a non-profit organization called The Battle Buddy Foundation where we work to provide the highest quality service dogs to disable veterans at absolutely no cost," says Bass.

As with any event in Hollywood, there had to be a red carpet.

This one was only for owners and their dogs.

Vendors booths were busy with everything from designer dog food to fashion, including pet formal wear.

And for that lasting memory of the day, so called 'Caninecatures' were being drawn to provide visitors with a souvenir.