ENCINITAS — The dogs and cats were out in force at the Rancho Coastal Humane Society’s second annual Fall Fest. In an effort to promote adoption and awareness of animals, the nonprofit held a family-friendly event on Oct. 24.
The carnival-styled atmosphere included face painting, children’s games and a bake sale. While the crowd was intimate, the day was a success according to the youth who prepared the event.
“It’s really fun, especially because it helps the animals, too,” 12-year-old Christina Fischer of Del Mar said. Christina is one of the Kids Community Service program volunteers who coordinated the event. The group is comprised of middle and high school-aged students who volunteer at the shelter at least once a week for a month. Duties range from cleaning chores to working with the animals to help socialize them in preparation for adoption.
“The kids have been working very hard to put this event together,” said the group’s nonprofit Education Director Erin Gorence. “This isn’t a huge fundraiser, but it’s a lot of fun for the community,” she said.
Carlsbad resident Diana Lee brought her two children, Allie, 6, and Christopher, 4, to enjoy the festivities. “They’re having a great time,” she said. Amy and Randy Christensen, who were visiting from Phoenix, echoed Lee’s sentiment. “This is our kind of party,” Randy said. The couple’s three children took turns spinning the prize wheel and having their faces painted.
The organization was formed in 1960 to care for the homeless animal population. It also educates the community about responsible animal care and encourages adoption. As a result, the staff and volunteers work to find a good match between pets and people. The adoption process includes educating prospective adopters about health care, nutrition requirements, grooming, exercise, responsible pet ownership and socialization.
“I try to support whatever the humane society does because I know what a benefit they are to the community,” Beth Bartlett said. She brought her pooch, Sally, to the festival and left with a new “costume.” “Sally loves it here and so do I,” she said. “I’m proud of the kids for staying out in the hot sun all day to put on this festival and for volunteering at the shelter.”
To learn more about the organization, visit www.rc humanesociety.org or call (760) 753-6413.