Humans and canines soaked up the sunshine at the third annual Bark Bash held at the Heritage Museum on Sunday.
The event focused on raising funds and promoting awareness for Barks of Love, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization located in Orange County.
Barks of Love is an all-breed rescue that is 100 percent no-kill and foster based, ensuring that dogs find a suitable home.
The organization started in 2008 and prioritizes the welfare of dogs its mission statement says it aims to decrease the total number of animals subject to euthanization each year, provide a safe home for animals that have been neglected and offer community education and awareness, according to the Barks of Love website.
“All the money goes back to our nonprofit. We put it towards medical care for our rescue dogs, we put it towards buying supplies for our foster dogs. We really try to have the money from this go right back to the dogs and not really go to administrative costs,” said Paige Lefever, president of Barks of Love.
The event offered activities for both pets and their owners. Admission included entrance into the museum’s historic Kellogg House, guided nature walks, a kids yoga session and a multitude of music, vendors and food trucks to enjoy.
Radio station KROQ-FM helped promote the event through its “KROQ to the Rescue” program with on-air personality host Kat Corbett. Its purpose was to highlight different animal rescues throughout Orange County in hopes of finding a home for animals.
Pets could be found in strollers, on leashes or in the arms of their owners.
Sari Shevitz was an attendee and took a tour of the Kellogg House while carrying her dog, Mocha.
“I like doing things with my dog, outdoors especially. And it’s a really great event, I’ve had a lot of fun, there’s a lot of good vendors and the cause is great,” Shevitz said.
Pet-oriented companies offered nail trimming, temporary fur dyeing, dog massages and other services. Vendors also sold items including pet food, clothes and dog toys.
Jennifer Savino, owner of Jen’s Gems 4 Furry Friends, initially made gemstone jewelry for people until three months ago. Savino started her line after she accompanied her friend to euthanize her dog, Angel. Savino, who has experience in holistic healing in pets, performed a ceremony while they said their goodbyes.
“After (Angel) passed that day, she came to me in a dream — actually, a couple days later. She said that I was going to be making these healing gemstone collars, which is an extension of my healing gemstones jewelry that I make already for people, and that I was going to be making healing gemstone collars for pets,” Savino said.
From that point, Savino learned how to start making hemp gemstone collars using a variety of stones including rose quartz, citrine and amethyst.
Nancy Matsushita, owner of Little Paws Pet Boutique and a CSUF alumna, started her business in 2013. She worked in health care for 20 years and decided to take her severance package and do what she had always wanted.
Her boutique features apparel and toys for dogs, cats and rabbits.
“I’d be sitting down in my basement cubicle thinking, ‘This is something that I’d want to do.’ And I thought, ‘I’m just gonna go for it,’” Matsushita said. “I feel happier and healthier, and I just love giving back and (especially) giving back to organizations that do rescues.”
Barks of Love has directly rescued 25 dogs and successfully had 20 dogs adopted.