Four-legged friends became the stars of the show March 21 during the City of Perris’ second annual “Pets on Parade” at Paragon Park.
Part of the City’s “Live Well Perris” healthy-eating active-living campaign, Pets on Parade provided the opportunity for people and pets to get a little exercise, meet folks with similar likes and watch demonstrations put on a champion Frisbee-catching dogs and an elephant from the rescue-foundation “Have Trunk Will Travel.”
Perris Mayor Daryl Busch and City Councilman Julio Rodriguez dropped by the event. The mayor noted that Pets on Parade also included low-cost vaccines and animal-care information as well as a photo booth for free pictures of families and pets.
“We have a great day for another great event,” Busch said. “We are very proud of our Pets on Parade because it’s good for our community. We want the community to benefit and become aware of events like this.’
Rodriguez came to Pets on Parade with his sister, Marylu, and nephews, Ivan, 6, and Isaac, 2. Also along for the day were their two dogs, Coco, a toy poodle and Twinkie, a Chihuahua.
“This event is always a lot of fun,” Rodriguez said. “Pet lovers love this activity. It’s one of the most innovative programs the City of Perris does and it’s unique. Pets are an integral part of our community and I am pleased the City hosts this event.”
Tom and Monica Chan took part in the festivities along with their son, Danny, 11. The family brought Lolly, their 10-month-old Chihuahua mix.
“This is a very fun event,” Monica Chan said. “It’s nice bringing our dog to socialize with other pets and it brings up the spirit on your community.”
Tom Chan voices similar sentiments.
“It’s great that the community comes together for such an outstanding event,” he said. “We get a chance to exercise our pets and exercise ourselves. All too often we’re stuck at home looking at the computer or our phones.”
Joyce Marroquin came to Paragon Park with Cookie, her three-year-old Maltese.
“It’s amazing the City offers this kind of program,” she said. “It encourages us to exercise and to exercise our pets. I think it’s really good the City considers pets as well as people when organizing community events.”
The day’s biggest participant drew the day’s biggest response. Rosie, an 8,000-pound 30-year-old Asian elephant oohed the crowd by picking up a rose with her trunk, standing on her hind legs, swung a hula-hoop, played the harmonica, caught sticks in the air and tossed a baseball. Asian elephants are smaller than their African cousins and are an endangered species.
Trainer Joanne Smith put Rosie through her paces while emcee Lauralynn Clopp described each activity.
Several representatives of the group Disc Dog Empire also took part in Pets on Parade, demonstrating a variety of tricks using Frisbees. The group trains dogs to take part in competitions around the country and has won several top prizes. Group president Julia Kosobrucki said people who exercise their pets exercise themselves and that’s good for both two and four-leg critters. Kosobucki praised the City for its commitment to improving the lives of its residents and pets through exercise.
“The City of Perris is definitely unique in its push for healthy-eating and active living,” she said. “Pets are part of a healthy lifestyle. Promoting healthy activities makes the City of Perris a great environment to raise families.”