Orland Township hosted its 10th annual Pet-Palooza on September 24 on the Orland Township grounds, 14807 S. Ravinia Ave., Orland Park. (Photos by Kelly White)

Orland Township hosted its 10th annual Pet-Palooza on September 24 on the Orland Township grounds, 14807 S. Ravinia Ave., Orland Park. (Photos by Kelly White)

Orland Township’s Pet-Palooza caters to our furry friends

By Kelly White

Pet owners united at Orland Township’s Pet-Palooza.

The township hosted the 10th annual event on Saturday, September 24, on the Orland Township grounds, 14807 S. Ravinia Ave., Orland Park.

With plenty of local vendors, residents were invited out to a day of family friendly, fun-filled activities. Pet-Palooza featured more than 60 local vendors, ranging from pet boutiques, animal hospitals, rescue organizations with adoptable pets on-site from partner with Animal Welfare League, Cache Creek Rescue, Feline Fine Cat Rescue, Halfway Home Animal Rescue, One Goal Animal Foundation, Paws Up 4 Rescue, South Suburban Humane Society, St Sophia’s Forgotten Felines, and Traveling Tails Dog Rescue.

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Orland Township hosted the 10th annual Pet-Palooza on September 24, on the Orland Township grounds, 14807 S. Ravinia Ave., Orland Park.

“Personally, I like that Pet-Palooza partners with local animal rescues,” Alexandria Shipyor, Public Relations Coordinator for Orland Township, said. “Supporting local animals in need is vital to the events mission.”

Local restaurants were also on-site offering free samples of their cuisines, including: Papa Joe’s, The White Sheep, Joey’s, Andy’s and Lou Malnati’s.

Costumes for pets and their owners, alike, were suggested but not necessary, according to Orland Township Supervisor Paul O’Grady and the Board of Trustees.

All canines in attendance were able to partake in one of the six different pet contests that returned once again this year, including Best Voice, Best Dressed, ‘SuPETvisor’ of The Year competition and more.

However, Pet-Palooza was not just for pets. The event offered a fun day out for families, as well with a Kids’ Zone that included inflatable bounce houses, train rides, games, and prizes. Kids also had the opportunity to meet some of their favorite characters, like Spiderman and the Disney Princesses.

“This event brings plenty of opportunities to see what kind of organizations are in Orland Park,” Shipyor said. “Attendees will have the opportunity to browse their wares, collect information, check out all of those adoptable pets, try some food, and listen to live music.”

The event started up in 2010 when O’Grady, with the help of his own family, expanded upon the Orland Township Food Pantry, creating the Orland Township Pet Pantry, otherwise known as “Crashy’s Closet”, which was named after O’Grady’s beloved rescue cat.

Today, “Crashy’s Closet” has helped many residents ease the burden of owning a pet, maintaining its funds through the generous donations of fellow residents and businesses.

The event was organized by the Orland Township Food Pantry and ran by Robin Kassis, the township’s Food Pantry Coordinator. This year, help was also provided by one of the Food Pantry’s we most active volunteers, Nancy Gurak.

“Everybody at Orland Township plays a part in assisting with the event, whether it be preparation or day-of volunteering,” Shipyor said.

Admission to Pet-Palooza was free, however, a donation of a 5-pound bag of pet food or a cash donation to the Orland Township Pet Pantry was strongly encouraged and greatly appreciated.

Any additional proceeds from Pet-Palooza will benefit “Crashy’s Closet”.

“Pet-Palooza helps us help residents in need,” Paul O’Grady, Orland Township Supervisor, said. “With assistance from the food pantry, many clients no longer must worry about giving up their beloved pets because they can’t afford to feed them. Not only do the donations help keep our Pet-Pantry stocked, but a number of local organizations who appear at Pet-Palooza are able to offer helpful resources: providing aid in veterinary care and grooming as well. We have a wonderful community in Orland Township and events like these really show that. Without the help we receive from the donations, and our vendors and sponsors, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do with Pet-Palooza yearly.”

All participating pets were required to have up-to-date vaccinations and had to display proper tags. Owners were responsible for cleaning up after their pets, and all pets had to be on leashes no longer than six-feet.

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Pat Stuber,of Orland Park, and her daughter, Jaclyn, dressed as princesses for Orland Township’s Pet-Palooza. They are pictured with their dogs, Tinkerbell, 2, and Pumpkin, 3.

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