Making a new friend

Sawyar Pannell of Salado hugs an adopted bullmastiff, Boudreaux Sharp, at a previous pet adoption event at the Bell County Expo Center in Belton.

A variety of animals will be available to join loving families in good homes during the largest pet adoption event in Central Texas.

The 2019 Pet Adoption Extravaganza, presented by Rescue Magazine, will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Bell County Expo Center in Belton.

Ronald Ducharme, event promoter and editor of Rescue Magazine, said 198 pets found homes during last year’s extravaganza. This year’s event will have between 330-400 animals available for adoption.

He said adoptable animals will include everything from dogs and cats to ferrets, horses, donkeys, birds, farm animals, mini pigs and more.

Ducharme said about 36 rescues and shelters from all over Central and North Texas will participate in this year’s extravaganza. The event will also offer performances by Ft. Hood’s military working dog team, the Nolanville Volunteer Fire Department fire truck and fire safety house, pony rides, a petting zoo, face painting, a train ride, bounces houses, and wildlife exhibits with a baby wallaby, bird of prey and baby possums and raccoons.

“Trainers are going to put on their demos for how they train dogs and whatnot,” Ducharme said. “We’re going to have an acrobatic dog trick team come out and do their performance. Even Herbie the Love Bug should be out there.”

He said 75-80 vendors are scheduled to be at this year’s event.

Admission to the Pet Adoption Extravaganza will cost $6. Children 13 and younger will receive free admission.

Ducharme said the extravaganza should be really big this year, and pets are allowed to attend with proof of rabies vaccination and shots up to date.