Gulfport’s Get Rescued Celebrates 15 Years

Mike and Gini Fagan, owners of the Gulfport Beach Bazaar, took over parenting the new fur person mascot of Get Rescued after local animal advocate Terry Foster, his human mom, died in 2018 shortly after that year’s charity event. In honor of Foster, Jack Sprat Sparrow-Foster Rescue Dog sponsored the booths for 10 rescue groups this year.

It’s like a Gecko Fest for puppies,” said local promoter Suzie King, owner of SIK Productions. “There are a lot of people here. I’m really happy with the turnout.”

She was referring to the throngs of people and pets parading up and down Beach Boulevard on Saturday, February 23 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the 15th-annual Get Rescued Pet Rescue Street Fair. 

Members of the Gulfport Gecko Amalgamated Marching Band entertained visitors during the early afternoon. Rescue groups had tents lining the street offering pets for adoption, supplies and information. Throughout the day, a pet supply drive was held in front of the Casino where more than three-and-a-half tons of food in addition to toys and items like beds, collars and leads were donated, said King.

A Bark-B-Que Fun-Raiser meal for humans and an ice cream treat for dogs was sponsored by Salty’s Gulfport Bar, while a Weiner Dog Derby and a pet-owner look-a-like contest helped to entertain the visitors along Beach Boulevard.

All donations in the form of cash and supplies were split between the 47 participating rescue groups who take everything home at the end of the day, said King.

Next year’s Get Rescued will be on February 22, 2020.

“I love watching animals getting their forever homes,” said Gulfport City Councilmember Paul Ray. “I’m glad to see everybody’s out. My favorite part is the kitties.”

Macey competes in her fabulous and frilly February sundress decorated with hearts during the Weiner Dog Derby. Photo by John Slifker.

The Weiner Dog Derby, which is now an annual event and is on the national circuit, was a mid-afternoon crowd favorite on north Beach Boulevard. Photo by John Slifker.

Members of the Gulfport Gecko Amalgamated Marching Band entertained the crowd.

Enjoying her VIP treatment, Stella of St. Petersburg chills out in her wagon while Robert Norton, originally from Gulfport, pulls her along the length of Beach Boulevard.

The pet parade at Get Rescued is one way that animals needing “fur-ever” homes are featured. Waiting for the parade to start are, from left, DJ Steve Hernandez from Tampa Bay Sound Production and the following volunteer handlers with pets needing homes from K9 Estates, Inc., a non-profit, small-dog rescue based in Palm Harbor: David Helmick and Kiko; Jayne Sidwell and Mikey; Corrine McCaffery and Pebbles; and Sybil Freeman and Honey Dew. For more information, visit canineestates.com.

A total of three-and-a-half tons of pet food was donated, said Suzie King of SIK Promotions. All donations to the event in the form of cash and supplies were split among the 47 participating rescue groups.

Dogs, cats, skunks, pigs and even monkeys along with their owners and rescuers enjoyed the 15th-annual Get Rescued Pet Rescue Street Fair held on Saturday, February 23 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Gulfport’s Beach Boulevard stretching from the Casino to the Library. Pictured from left are: Stanley, a three-year-old Marmoset monkey; Dana Peplinski from St. Petersburg; and, Stella, a 1-year-old Red-handed Tamarin monkey. “Being so young and given the chance, Stella would be gone to the first tree,” which is why they wear leashes, said Peplinski.

 

The 15th-annual Get Rescued Pet Rescue Street Fair was named as “A Tribute to Terry Foster – True Animal Advocate” and her pup Jack Sprat Sparrow-Foster Rescue Dog was selected as the event’s official mascot. Jack’s likeness adorns the official volunteer badges and features hearts as highlights in his eyes. “I volunteer for Get Rescued every time. I like to help people and be a part of things,” said Sue Harle of Gulfport. The design is by Thomas O’Connor of In-Visions Graphics and was commissioned by Mike and Gini Fagan, owners of the Gulfport Beach Bazaar where Jack serves as the official greeter.

 

 

 

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