Gwinnett Humane Society gears up for PAWfest

LAWRENCEVILLE -- On May 5, dog lovers and their four-legged companions will take over Tribble Mill Park in Lawrenceville for the Gwinnett Humane Society's 19th annual PAWfest with demonstrations, clinics, contests, raffles, hikes and more.

According to the GHS's "The Humane Voice" newsletter, the event "originally planned in celebration of 'Be Kind to Animals Week,' the first week in May, is a fun, educational family event that strives to educate on pet related issues while celebrating the human-pet bond."

PAWfest begins with a pack hike in collaboration with Right to Hike, a nonprofit dedicated to hiking safety. The 5K hike starts at 9:30 a.m. for registered hikers to walk around the park. Those who would rather take it easy can register for a 1-mile Puppy Pack Hike. To reserve your spot, visit www.firstgiving.com/gwinnetthumane. It is $20 prior to PAWfest and $25 on the day of the hike. Participants receive a T-shirt and goodie bag.

At 11 a.m., a silent auction opens with prizes ranging from a relaxing mountain getaway to a new Kindle Fire to a California Pizza Kitchen kid's experience. All winners must be present at close of the auction at 3 p.m.

Around 1 p.m. the dog contests commence. Canines can win first, second and third place in best costume, dog/owner look-a-like, largest dog, best kisser and best trick. Afterward, dogs have the option of participating in a free game of musical sit -- sort of like musical chairs, but without chairs.

PAWfest also promises to have kids' activities (crazy hair booths, face painting and games), canine demonstrations by K9 Einstein and Lawrence-ville Kennel Club, food and entertainment, plus dog-related activities. Therapy Dog International, Chapter 193 has canine testing, Tim Link will communicate with dogs, and WellPet Humane has a clinic open to administer vaccinations, testing, flea medications and microchipping.

Admission and parking are free. Well-behaved, leased dogs are allowed into the festival, except for canines in heat. They need to be left at home.

PAWfest is a rain or shine event from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Ozora Meadows section of Tribble Mill Park located at 2125 Tribble Mill Parkway in Lawrenceville. For more information, visit www.pawfest.com or www.gwinnetthumane.com.