Pet adoptions, food trucks, vendors, a photo booth, face painting and more family-friendly and animal-related fun are on tap for July 17 when the Farmers Market Hub hosts Pirates, Dawgs and Hidden Treasures.
The free event will be held from noon – 4 p.m. at the Jerusalem Shrine Center, located at 1940 Ormond Boulevard in Destrehan. All proceeds from the event will benefit participating animal rescues and help the Jerusalem Shriners rebuild from Hurricane Ida.
There will be a 2 p.m. costume contest, with each pet or individual entry set at $5 and group entries priced at $10. There will winners awarded, and trophies presented, in each of the four contest categories – adults, children, pets and groups.
Vicki Johnson-Cain, a Destrehan resident and event organizer, said she hopes the event results in pet adoptions and drives home the importance of keeping animals healthy through vaccinations.
“There’s a huge need in the community for people to spay and neuter their animals. There are more animals than there are homes … thousands of healthy puppies are getting euthanized,” she said. “These animals end up in this situation not due to any fault of their own. They have been failed by humans. We have to do better and be more responsible pet owners by spay and neutering and vaccinating our pets.”
She added that there is another issue that is contributing to high shelter numbers.
“During the COVID shut down people were adopting puppies and kittens in mass quantities to keep them company while they were stuck home and now that things are starting to open up the numbers of owner surrenders that ‘don’t have the time” for their pets anymore is unbelievable,” Johnson-Cain said. “They surrender to shelters they say to give them a better life and the sad reality is that some of those pets will never make it out alive. It’s like a pandemic for the animals. The rate of owner surrender is just unbelievable. There are even waiting lists now for people to surrender their animals.”
She added that also contributing to a higher-than-normal rate of owner surrenders are individuals and families impacted by Hurricane Ida.
“There are people who really wanted to keep their animals but couldn’t because they didn’t have a fence or because they were displaced or living in a small camper,” she said. “There are a lot of gut-wrenching stories there, and the hurricane has played a big part in that. It’s heartbreaking to see a family have to give up their animal because they have no choice.”
Johnson-Cain said Pirates, Dawgs and Hidden Treasures is the second themed event she has organized in collaboration with the Farmers Market Hub. Pawdi Gras was held in March, and Johnson-Cain said that event was well-received from the community.
For more information on Pirates, Dawgs and Hidden Treasures or to sign up as a event vendor, contact FarmersMarketHubllc@gmail.com, 504-544-1044, 504-615-2966 or 504-281-7037.
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