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Costa Mesa dogs have their day at city’s annual Barktoberfest

Elton, an English bulldog, dressed as Chucky from "Child's Play", is leashed by his owner Melissa Kishel of Costa Mesa.
Elton, an English bulldog, dressed as Chucky from the horror film “Child’s Play”, is leashed by his owner Melissa Kishel of Costa Mesa, as they participate in a Barktoberfest costume parade held in a parking lot at the Costa Mesa Tennis Center on Saturday.
(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

In Costa Mesa, there’s no better time to be a dog than the Halloween season, when the annual Barktoberfest allows pooches and their companions to celebrate the canine-human bond with fun and spooky activities designed to celebrate the holiday.

Hosted by the city’s Parks and Community Services Department since 2018, this year’s event took place Saturday at TeWinkle Park and featured free dog training lessons, crafts for people and pets and the ever-popular costume parade.

Laura Gilbert of Dana Point, dressed as a Barbie doll, walks Kiva, a Jack Russell terrier mix, Barktoberfest .
Laura Gilbert of Dana Point, dressed as a Barbie doll, walks Kiva, a Jack Russell terrier mix, during the Barktoberfest costume parade on Saturday.
(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

The event aims to raise awareness about the city’s Animal Care Services Department and to promote local pet adoption and rescue organizations, according to recreation coordinator Jessica Torrejon.

Shon Bangale, right, and Vasuda Trehan, both of Irvine, smile for a picture with their dogs Evee and Nymeria.
Shon Bangale, right, and Vasuda Trehan, both of Irvine, smile for a picture with their dogs Evee and Nymeria.
(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

“It’s a great opportunity for members of the community to come out and meet with those rescue animals with the hope that they are able to give them their forever home,” Torrejon wrote in an email. “[Participants] can also see what kind of animal services are provided by local businesses.”

Rescue groups that work to find forever homes for dogs — and cats, too — participated in the day’s festivities, including Priceless Pet Rescue, No Stray Left Behind, FurEver Paws Rescue, the Cat Cove, Sunny Saints St. Bernard Rescue and Second Chances for Blind Dogs.

Vendors from businesses who provide pet-friendly products and services for animals also joined in on a barking good time.

Brittany Kelly, No Stray Left Behind co-founder, hugs Whiskey, bottom, and Andre, top.
Brittany Kelly, No Stray Left Behind co-founder, hugs Whiskey, bottom, and Andre, top.
(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

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