A pit bull mix named Kaya now has her forever home after being adopted Saturday from the Henderson County Animal Shelter.
Marshall Pile, 41, of Henderson, adopted Kaya during the fourth annual Dogtoberfest on the T.B. Butler Fountain Plaza in downtown Tyler.
Dogtoberfest is an annual event led by the local Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, more commonly known as the SPCA of East Texas, in partnership with local rescues and breweries to promote the adoption of homeless animals.
Pile’s previous adoptions led him to choosing Kaya for his family.
“We’ve adopted all our dogs and we just wanted to add to the family,” he said. “People coming together for the dogs is awesome.”
Jennifer Miller, Henderson County Animal Shelter manager, said 12 out of 14 dogs were adopted from the facility’s booth during Dogtoberfest.
“This is an event we look forward to every year,” Miller said.
Henderson County’s facility was one of 12 animal rescues and shelters across the East Texas region in attendance, including the SPCA of East Texas.
Deborah Dobbs, SPCA of East Texas president and founder, said Dogtoberfest had a great turnout. She attributed some of the attendance to people coming in from the Texas Rose Festival activities.
The local SPCA is an independently funded foster-based rescue group that has about 150 dogs and cats in foster homes waiting to be adopted. The rescued animals are vetted, socialized and given medical attention to prepare them for adoption, according to the organization. Those interested in fostering or adoption with SPCA of East Texas go through an application process to ensure the safety of the animal.
The biggest objective for the event is to raise awareness about the large amount of dogs and cats in need of homes, Dobbs said.
“This will help you to stop and think to look for a shelter or rescue pet instead of buying one,” she said.
While Christa Manuel, 22, of Tyler, didn’t adopt at Dogtoberfest, she said she might be adopting at next year’s event.
“I’ve had two rescue dogs. So I like that everything is going toward rescue dogs,” Manuel said. “I like that it’s different organizations coming together to reach the same purpose and saving the animals.”
Smith County Animal Control and Shelter also saw success at Dogtoberfest, with at least five dogs being adopted, Lori Cooper, volunteer coordinator for the shelter, said.
Dobbs said the SPCA of East Texas is fortunate to have a partnership with the local breweries for Dogtoberfest. Sales from beer and tasting tickets were donated to the local SPCA to further the organization’s rescue program.
ETX Brewing Co. and True Vine Brewing Co., both based in Tyler, were among the 21 breweries serving various craft beers.
Brian Gilstrap, 40, of Tyler, ETX Brewing Co. owner, said Dogtoberfest is about doing their part to help homeless animals find a family.
“Ultimately, it’s a festival to help find adoptable pets their forever homes and raise money for a great organization, while enjoying some great craft breweries from around the region,” Gilstrap said.
He added that it’s great to see people come together for the SPCA of East Texas.
Chance Heck, 33, of Tyler, who works in sales at True Vine Brewing Co., said the event finds homes for stray animals, while connecting with the community and supporting local businesses.
“I think it’s a well-organized event and everybody’s having a lot of fun,” Heck said.
Bands and singers performed throughout the day on a stage near the northeast corner of the square. Dogtoberfest’s major sponsors include the Tyler Morning Telegraph, Stonewater Roofing and Pet Supplies Plus.