Gulfport’s Get Rescued Fills the Streets

“We upgraded the quality of the dry dog food this year and are providing less of it because the rescues have limited room for storage,” said Suzie King, owner of SIK Promotions, the business that has produced the street fair for 16 years. A kitty litter sponsor was also new this year. The donation drop-off point at the Casino included items like kennels, leashes, collars, food and water bowls, bedding, toys and treats.

The 16th-annual Gulfport’s Get Rescued street fair and pet adoption event held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, February 22 featured 49 non-profit rescue groups and pet-themed vendors on Beach Boulevard in addition to related activities hosted by nearby Salty’s Gulfport Bar on Shore Boulevard, said Suzie King, owner of SIK Promotions.

The event is hosted by the non-profit Gulfport Merchants Chamber group, and produced and promoted by King’s company. Salty’s is a major business sponsor.

“The festival is one of the largest animal rescue events in the state,” said King. “A lot of local businesses are doing their own fundraisers this year, which I think is fabulous.”

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From left, Gini and Mike Fagan, owners of the Gulfport Beach Bazaar and More Bazaar, 3115-3117 Beach Boulevard, get their family portrait taken in the inaugural sidewalk Pet Photo Booth in front of More Bazaar sponsored by Debbie Wolfe Photography of Gulfport. Pets pictured from left are Stella, 16-1/2 years old; Mookie; and Jack Sprat Sparrow-Foster Rescue Dog who is the face of the logo for Get Rescued. The Fagans are major annual business sponsors.

Local artist and gallery owner Brenda McMahon with Ty, who will serve as the city’s first “Pet Ambassador for the Arts” walk at the “Wagging-in” Ceremony for Gulfport’s newest “pawficials,” including Pet Mayor. Photo by Gulfport Historical Society volunteer June Johns.

Bronwyn Stanford, founder and CEO of CJPAWS, Inc. of Gulfport, holds a special bubble-window, hard-shell backpack that contains Piper, a kitty. The group is committed to rescuing, protecting and advocating for all animals. For more information about the rescue, visit

Ashlea O’Connor, owner of Fido’s Food Truck, featured a variety of eats for animals and their humans. She is holding her company’s signature “I Choose You” peanut butter animal cookie, right, and a cake-on-a-stick style treat, left, that features bacon sprinkles.

Kay Kennedy, handler and adopter of CoCo, right, and Tillie Smith, handler and adopter of Leo, left, all participate in the official pet parade. Both handlers adopted their pets from the Humane Society of Pinellas County.

Chip Parker, center, was found by a park ranger in Pinellas County’s John Chesnut Senior Park in Palm Harbor “just running around. After three hours, he finally came over to me,” said Tina Hatin, left, who along with her husband Ron, right, are co-founders of Emma’s Foundation for Canine Cancer. They are currently fostering him. Word on the street is, Chip may soon be adopted by the Hatins and joining their non-profit group as the K-9 mascot. For more information, visit

Debi Klein, right, of Siberian Husky Rescue of Florida says Get Rescued “is a great opportunity for all of the animal rescues because they always do a great job and there is a great turnout. Gulfport is a charming little town that draws the crowds.” Dogs pictured are Lexi, left, and Lilli and both girls are available for adoption. Also pictured is Kayla Klein. For more information, visit

“I paint people’s pets from photographs so that together, we can capture their personality and spirit through their eyes because that’s the most important part,” said Jeanelle Demers, an artist from Maine. This year was her first time being a vendor. For more information, visit

Linda Heinz of Great Dane Rescue of Tampa Bay showcased a variety of animals available for adoption in her booth including a potbellied pig name Jimmy Dean, several cats and a dog. The group also takes in “rabbits, birds, basically anything but alligators or snakes,” she said. Her group has been a vendor at Get Rescued for all 16 years because “it is so rescue friendly,” she said. For more information, visit


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