Critter Fest draws a multi-species crowd to benefit Humane Society’s no-kill shelter

Kaylee McBrayer gets cozy with Cleo

Photo by Jolanda Jansma

Kaylee McBrayer gets cozy with Cleo

The Blount County Humane Society held its third-annual Smoky Mountain Critter Fest on Sunday, May 31 at Pearson Springs Park in Maryville to bring in funds and support for the Blount County Humane Society’s No-Kill Animal Shelter effort.

More than a dozen animal rescue organizations brought adoptable pets to the event, and many more groups were present to provide information about exotic pets, pet therapy, training and more.

In the children’s area, lucky kids got to play onlarge inflatable bouncies, get a first-hand look at exotic birds, ride ponies, win prizes, and even ride on Papaw’s Blue Barrel Train.

Canine athletes of all breeds competed in the “Animalympics Games” for dogs, a series of fun agility tests. For less competitive pooches, the Seven Silly Pet Contests was a chance to try for Best Trick, Cutest Pet, Pet/Owner Look-Alike, Best Bark or Howl, Ugliest Pet, Best Costume and Best Rescue Pet.

The Blount County Humane Society also held a large silent auction and “non-raffles” at the pavilion, accented by live music from Chris and Candi, The Todd Lykins Band and The Country Heartbeats.

Food vendors including the Blount County Humane Society, Texas Roadhouse, Silver Spoon/The American Café, and Smoky Mountain Kettle Korn sold snacks and treats out of their booths all day.

Equine riding exercises, police dog demonstrations, and even a belly-dancing performance from Debka’s Oasis Dancers rounded out the day’s entertainment schedule.

Sponsors with booths at the event were Barkside Lodge, Bark Avenue Pet Portraits and Grooming, East Tennessee Association of Professional Pet Sitters, The Daily Times,, Texas Roadhouse, Invisible Fence by Petsafe, Watts Chiropractic, It’s A Dog’s Lyfe, Modern Woodmen, Smoky Mountain Kettle Korn, and Silver Spoon/The American Café. Other sponsors were Cally’s Pet Grooming, The Aroma Café, Lenny’s Sub Shop, Par-T-Pub, Standard Aero, AA Air Co., Rivers Advertising, Precision Power, Farmers Insurance Group, and Purina Pro Plan Rally to Rescue.

For more information about the work of the humane society, visit

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