Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine hosts Pet Day

Alpacas are one of the dozens of animals included in the 31st annual Pet Day.

Tristan Bailey, Practicum Contributor

Guests can enjoy petting zoo, dog agility show, animal hospital tours.

“Lizards, Llamas and Lots of Fun!” This is the tag line for Pet Day at Oregon State University.

For the last 30 years on the first Saturday of May, thousands of people from the Corvallis community gather on the grounds of Magruder Hall to participate in an annual event organized and staffed entirely by graduate students from the Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine.

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Pet Day is a free event that introduces community members to the work done by the students of the Veterinary Medical program, said Cade Schmid, a second-year graduate student and one of four elected Pet Day co-chairs for the class of 2020.

“Pet Day is a very large community gathering and it’s a lot of fun,” Schmid said. “This is a great way for people to come and see what we do here.”

Each event that takes place during Pet Day has its own committee to whom responsibilities are assigned, Schmid said.

“There is a total of 17 committees and each (co-chair) oversees about four,” Schmid said. “A lot of our true responsibilities start at the beginning of the year and it slowly dwindles down until it’s the committees’ responsibility to get things done.”

Amanda Denninger, second-year graduate student and Pet Day co-chair, said Pet Day is a family-oriented event, but can be enjoyed by people of all ages.

 “There are lots of different kinds of animals that come,” Denninger said. “There will be llamas, dogs of course, as well as reptiles from the local herpetological society. There are vendors that sell a variety of items, as well as food and games.”

Pet Day has long been a favorite event among university students, Denninger said.

“Pet Day has been around for so long because the students really like to have something to focus on that isn’t totally academic for once,” Denninger said in an email. “It’s our way of showing the community what we do every day, while being able to take our minds off of the books for a day.”  

Pet Day and its various events are a reflection of the larger Corvallis community, Denninger said.

“The great thing about Corvallis is that it’s a pretty close-knit, laid back community,” Denninger said in an email. “Having an event where one of the most popular parts is the Pet Costume Contest, where people dress their pet up as wacky as possible, just speaks to what a fun place Corvallis is.”

Lyn Smith-Gloria is the head of marketing and communications for the College of Veterinary Medicine and worked alongside the Pet Day co-chairs to put on the event.

“The Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine assists the first and second-year students with the administrative tasks of Pet Day like arranging for insurance and filing permits,” Smith-Gloria said in an email.

There will be 56 different vendors and fundraising booths at Pet Day for attendees to engage with, in addition to a variety of events, Smith-Gloria said.

“People can bring their dog to get a bath and a nail trim if they want,” Smith-Gloria said. “In addition to that, we have a petting zoo, a fun-run, a dog agility show and tours of our hospital which is normally closed to anyone under the age of 16.”

Several kinds of domestic animals will be present at Pet Day this year for individuals to interact with, said Smith-Gloria.

“The 4-H group in Polk county will be bringing farm animals to the event,” Smith-Gloria said. “They bring baby lambs, baby goats, rabbits and a tiny miniature pony.”

The Senior Dog Rescue of Oregon is a non-profit organization which focuses on re-homing older dogs, and will have a booth at Pet Day.

“Senior Dog Rescue started doing Pet Day 11 years ago,” Jenny Sullivan, the SDRO foster and adoption coordinator, said. “Volunteers work in shifts to tell people about what we do. We sell dog toys, dog beds and blankets and provide information about the foster and adoption process, as well as information about how to volunteer at future events.”

For Sullivan, attending Pet Day is more than just a part of her job.

“I’ve been going to Pet Day long before I ever got involved with the Senior Dog Rescue of Oregon,” Sullivan said. “I’ve been going to this event for probably 25 years; it is a really important and fun event for the community.”