Moyneyana Festival Paws Appreciation Day

Not even the 39-degree-heat stopped animal lovers from making their way to Port Fairy for the annual Moyneyana Festival Paws Appreciation Day. 

With 50 entries intially, only 35 dogs ended up at the event due to hot weather. 

Prizes were given for the best dogs in a number of categories. 

Hayden Cormick, 12, and his five-year-old Labrodor Lottie, were dressed to impress with their matching Nippers outfits.

Hayden’s mother Jess, said they are both beach lovers which was the inspiration behind the outfits.

“We are from Melbourne and we holiday in Port Fairy every year, but this is the first year we have put Lottie in the show,” she said. 

“Hayden participates in Nippers when we come down and Lotti just loves the water.” 

Lottie the lab won the Fashionista award which was awarded to the dog with the most creative outfit.

Chairman of the Moyneyana Festival Committee Reg Harry, said the event had “become an important part of the festival.”

“It’s great to see how dedicated people are, I think we would have had double the crowd, if not for the weather, although I think we still had around 400-500 people floating around this morning,” he said. 

Doug the Pug managed to score the runner-up award for the smallest dog.  

Owner Jodie Carey, a Koroit resident who is currently holidaying in Port Fairy, said she thought the event was a fantastic idea for both owners and their pets. 

“It’s a great day and it brings all the dogs to socialise,” she said. 

Christine (Sully) Meagher, left Melbourne at 5:30am on Thursday morning to make it down on time for the event. 

Ms Meagher runs a face painting business called Tina Sparkle and spent the morning painting faces, arms and legs, with many children asking to look like their pets. 

“It was a really good turn out, particularly in spite of the weather, its a great event for the kids,” she said.

Sponsorship officer Sue Bruce and her friend Janine Carter came up with the idea for the pet day while walking their dogs on the beach two years ago and wanted to promote responsible ownership.

From a gold coin donation,$153.50 was raised which will go towards the Portland and District Therapy Dogs.  

The committee has announced  the event will be held again next year but will have an earlier starting time.