PUG fest

Kentuckiana Pug Rescue's Annie Faircloth talks about PUGfest. PUGfest featured pug contests, vendors, raffles and much more at the Memorial Coliseum on Saturday June 21st.

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Photos by Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette
Annie Faircloth, left, vice president of Kentuckiana Pug Rescue, and Heather Harold highlight Miss Ethel, one of the pugs available to adopt during Pugfest.

Pugs come out to party at festival for them

Many pugs were available for adoption through the Kentuckiana Pug Rescue during Pugfest at Memorial Coliseum on Saturday.

Shannon and Nick Farkas have four pugs they love, but they should have only two.

The extra two are from the times the Farkases intended to house the dogs only temporarily until an adoptive home could be found.

Turns out, the Farkases decided their home was where the dogs should stay.

“He (Nick) was afraid I was going to keep them, and then he’s the one who wants to keep them all,” Shannon said, and her husband doesn’t deny it.

The Fort Wayne couple were two of about 150 people who attended the second annual Pugfest at Memorial Coliseum on Saturday.

Sponsored by Kentuckiana Pug Rescue, the event featured vendors and several contests for the small, four-legged contestants.

“The pug races are always the most entertaining,” Annie Faircloth, vice president of Kentuckiana Pug Rescue, said of one of the highlights for the day.

For Kaylyn and Billie O’Dell, the event of the day was the banana eating contest.

Their 3-year-old pug, Otis, was in the contest at least year’s Pugfest but waited until the event was finished to eat the banana.

They also brought Otis to the event to have a chance to meet other pugs, but it turns out he’s much more comfortable at home with his German shepherd housemates.

Even so, the O’Dell sisters enjoyed the day out with their little companion, especially the costume contest.

Ask anyone what makes a pug lover, and the list gets lengthy.

Looks, personality, mannerisms and more make them irresistible to what Faircloth readily describes as a unique group of people.

“It doesn’t matter how bad your day was, you come home to one of these guys and you’re fine,” she said.

Fort Wayne residents Dee and Earl Welty had their soon-to-be 11-year-old pug, Porsche, in tow in a fabric wagon to make the journey a little easier.

“They snuggle and they’ve got a face only a mom could love,” Dee Welty said.

Porsche is the couple’s second pug, bought from a local breeder. They adopted their first from a neighbor who got the dog from a rescue.

They were at the event to see all the pugs and meet other pug lovers.

Faircloth estimated there were about 100 pugs at the event throughout the day.

In addition to being Kentuckiana’s vice president, she also spearheads the group’s fundraising.

Fundraising is a crucial part of the operation based on how much the pug rescue group can devote to caring for the dogs.

The Farkases know full well the need for people involved with animal rescue and foster home organizations.

One of their resident pugs, Derby, is only here because of places like Kentuckiana that give the dogs a second chance.

“She was literally thrown away. She was found in a field last fall,” Shannon Farkas said.

The pugs they foster often come from Kentuckiana.

They met some people at the event they visited in the past to see if their homes would be suitable for pug adoption.

Shannon said it’s nice to see the animals in homes they deserve.

Faircloth said the rescue operation currently has 135 dogs in foster homes.