Orland Township hosted its 11th annual Pet-Palooza on September 16 on the Orland Township grounds, 14807 S. Ravinia Ave., Orland Park. (Supplied photos)

Orland Township hosted its 11th annual Pet-Palooza on September 16 on the Orland Township grounds, 14807 S. Ravinia Ave., Orland Park. (Supplied photos)

Orland Township celebrates pets at Pet-Palooza

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Orland Township Supervisor Paul O’Grady along with honorary SuPETvisor Zeus Pohl & family. Zeus is a 5-month-old Maine coon cat from Orland Park.

By Kelly White

Orland Township knows how to celebrate its pets.

The township hosted its 11th annual Pet-Palooza on Saturday, September 16, on the Orland Township grounds, 14807 S. Ravinia Ave., Orland Park.

The free event was sponsored by Supervisor Paul O’Grady and the township’s board of trustees.

“As a pet owner myself, I understand the importance of having access to affordable pet care resources,” O’Grady said. “Pet-Palooza provides an excellent opportunity for pet owners in Orland Township to connect with local organizations and receive valuable assistance.”

With plenty of informative vendors, residents were invited out to a day of family friendly, fun-filled activities.

Pet-Palooza featured more than 60 local vendors, ranging from pet boutiques, animal hospitals, rescue organizations with adoptable pets on-site from partner with Animal Welfare League, Cache Creek Rescue, Feline Fine Cat Rescue, Halfway Home Animal Rescue, One Goal Animal Foundation, Paws Up 4 Rescue, South Suburban Humane Society, St Sophia’s Forgotten Felines, and Traveling Tails Dog Rescue.

Township officials said they were lucky to have four $500 Top Dog sponsors this year were in attendance with plenty of products and informational material: Minnie’s Memorial Fund, Vet Tech Institute at Fox College, Duluth Trading Co., and Andy’s Frozen Custard.

“I am always impressed by the resounding impact that Pet-Palooza has on our community year after year,” O’Grady said. “It is heartening to know that the donations received through the event have helped to keep the Pet Pantry stocked and have enabled many residents to keep their beloved pets.”

Local restaurants were also on-site offering free samples of their cuisines, including: Papa Joe’s, The White Sheep, Joey’s, Andy’s and Lou Malnati’s.

Costumes for pets and their owners, alike, were suggested but not necessary. All canines in attendance were able to partake in one of the six different pet contests that returned once again this year, including Best Voice, Best Dressed, ‘SuPETvisor’ of The Year competition and more.

“This event brought plenty of opportunities to see what kind of organizations are in Orland Park,” Alexandria Shipyor, Public Relations Coordinator for Orland Township, said. “Attendees had the opportunity to browse their wares, collect information, check out all of those adoptable pets, try some food, and listen to live music. Not to mention take part in our fantastic pet contests, where pets had the opportunity to win some awesome prizes.”

However, Pet-Palooza was not just for pets. The event offered a fun day out for families, as well with a Kids’ Zone that included inflatable bounce houses, train rides, games, and prizes. Kids also had the opportunity to meet some of their favorite characters, like Spiderman and the Disney Princesses.

“Personally, I like that Pet-Palooza partners with local animal rescues,” Shipyor said. “Supporting local animals in need is vital to the event’s mission.”

This year, the township was happy to partner with Animal Welfare League, Cache Creek Rescue, Feline Fine Cat Rescue, Illinois Shorthair Rescue, PAWS, St. Sophia’s Forgotten Felines, and Traveling Tails Dog Rescue as they bring a number of adoptable pets in the local area.

Admission to Pet-Palooza is free, however a donation of a 5-pound bag of pet food or a cash donation to the Orland Township Pet Pantry was strongly encouraged.

“Pet-Palooza was inspired by local pet-owners who utilized the Township Food Pantry,” Shipyor said. “Staff would often hear from clients about further needs they could benefit from receiving assistance with, and that included caring for their beloved pets.”

The first Pet-Palooza kicked-off in 2010 when O’Grady, with the help of his own family, expanded upon the Orland Township Food Pantry, creating the Orland Township Pet Pantry, otherwise known as “Crashy’s Closet”, which was named after O’Grady’s beloved rescue cat.

Today, “Crashy’s Closet” has helped many residents ease the burden of owning a pet, maintaining its funds through the generous donations of fellow residents and businesses.

Pet-Palooza was organized by the Orland Township Food Pantry, ran by Robin Kassis, and all proceeds from Pet-Palooza will go directly to benefit the Orland Township Pet Pantry, “Crashy’s Closet”.

“We have a fantastic community in Orland Township and Pet-Palooza helps us prove that,” O’Grady said. “Without the help we receive from the donations, and our vendors and sponsors, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do.”

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Orland Township’s Pet-Palooza offered plenty of competitions for local area pets to enter.

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