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The Ellen Payne Odom Genealogy Library Family Tree
The Family Tree - Aug/Sep 2002
Suggested Pet Policy at Highland Games


Thanks to Kitty Tolson Carroll for providing this article.

1. Patron pet policy:

We at the Faire welcome pets owned by responsible owners.

To make the festival enjoyable for all the following rules are established.

Pets shall be admitted through the pet entrance.

Only ONE pet per owner will be admitted.

Only pets in good health will be admitted. Pets are limited to the following: dogs, cats, fish, guinea pigs, gerbils, rabbits, hamsters, rats, mice, birds and ferrets.

All pets will be registered with an owner signed liability waiver prior to entry to the festival grounds. Prior mail in registration is encouraged. Contact festival office for registration forms. Owners will provide the following: Name/address phone number of owner, proof of current vaccinations (rabies/distemper/Parvo/ feline leukemia and other state required vaccinations). Name, address and phone number of veterinarian.

All pet owners will pay a five dollar non-refundable fee and will be issued a numbered pet tag (luggage tag) which will be worn on the pets’ collar at all times. All pets will wear a owner provided I.D. on their collar. Pets without owner I.D. on their collar will not be admitted. All pets will be photographed at the entrance gate. Pet waste clean up items (plastic bag) will be issued at the registration gate.

Leashes shall be no longer than 4 feet. All pets will wear two collars, one with I.D. and a second for leash control (2nd collar is case leash slips off pet). All leashes shall have a secure loop hand strap. NO retractable leashes will be allowed. NO FEMALES IN HEAT will be allowed. ALL PETS WILL BE LEASHED AT ALL TIMES. No muzzled pets will be admitted.

Our festival has animal attractions and acts which are disrupted by the presence of unfamiliar animals. Pet owners will adhere to the requests of said animal acts/attractions to not bring their pets around and cause disruptions to our contracted animal acts and attractions.

Pet waste will be cleaned up by pet owner and disposed of in waste containers provided. Water for pets will be available at the bathroom areas (water tanks).

Pet owners, CURB YOUR PETS, Do not allow them to relieve themselves where others walk, be mindful of our vendors merchandise and tents. Do not let your pet relieve themselves or spray on their tents or goods. Pet owners are responsible for any damage they pet may cause. Owners will be required to control where their pets urinate and defecate, avoid pathways, tents and props.

Pet injuries (scratches/bites) or damage shall be reported to First Aid or security, immediately. Owner and victim shall provide festival with incident report and owner information.

Unruly, nervous, noisy, aggressive, or ill pets will not be admitted. Determination of suitability of shall be the sole discretion of the faire staff.

Failure to adhere to the above will have the pet and owner escorted to the gate without refund.

2. For participants.

The following has been compiled to allow the enjoyment for all at our festival:

All animals/birds/reptiles will be registered at the faire office. Participants will provide proof of vaccinations (rabies/distemper/Parvo/ feline distemper and other state required vaccinations). Also, owners name, address, phone number, veterinarians name, address and phone number. Animals that birth young during festival run shall have all worming and vaccinations required for their species. ALL animals will wear owner provided I.D. with the owners name and phone number at all times. NO EXCEPTIONS!!!!!

Noisy, unruly and aggressive animals will not be tolerated. If your pet is one of the aforementioned. Do not bring it to our festival. Such determination shall be the sole discretion of the festival staff. All pets (including cats) will be leashed fenced or confined at ALL TIMES. If you are a cat or dog owner who allows their pet to free range, do not bring the pet to our festival. We have other animal acts and a petting zoo where there are horses, small animals and birds which would be stressed and or injured by a free ranging cat or dog. Free roaming pets are a danger and stressful to contracted performing animals and native wildlife. How would you like a free ranging cat or dog to harass and kill your caged bunnies or doves you use in your magic act? This policy cannot be emphasized strongly enough. Animals found to be free-ranging , or off lead shall have the owner subject to a $100.00 fine. A second incident shall have the offending animal ejected from the festival. Animals found free-ranging shall be taken to the local shelter. Owner shall be responsible for any fees in recovering their pet. The same animal shall not be re-admitted to festival property. Owner will have to find other accommodations for the offending animal off festival property (example: boarding).

Owners shall be responsible for any damage their pets may cause. Any damage, bites or injuries shall be reported immediately to first aid or the festival office. Owner and victim shall each complete an incidence report.

Any patron contact with your pet during festival hours is prohibited by our insurance provider. Unless you are a contract animal act or attraction (such as the petting zoo, animal rides or a stage act that features animals or birds). Pets are allowed at booths during festival hours. They are to be kept out of sight and QUIET. Noisy animals are a terrible distraction and shall be removed from the festival. Crating of your pet during festival hours is strongly recommended. If leashed, leashes shall not exceed 6 feet. Pets will wear two collars, one with owners I.D. The second collar is for leash control. Make sure your pet has access to fresh water all times during festival hours. A hanging steel bucket will not spill and is easily cleaned.

CURB YOU PET!!! Do not allow your pet to relieve itself on others props. Have you pet relieve itself away from where people walk, be mindful of our vendors tents and merchandise. Pet owners are required to clean up pet waste promptly and dispose of waste in containers provided. FEMALES IN HEAT will not be allowed in the festival during festival hours.

Be neat with your pet food. Do not leave pet food outside unattended. Clean up any pet food that has been spilled. Bring in dishes after pet has been fed. Do not leave pet food dishes out at night after your pet has been fed. Spilled, unattended pet food attracts vermin (rats, crows, skunks, gulls, raccoons, coyotes, etc). Lets prevent a vermin problem before it happens.

Failure to adhere to the above rules shall have the pet ejected from the festival after one warning.

3. Pet Gate Procedure

It is recommended that the Screeners be volunteers from the local Humane Society, Obedience Clubs, or Breed Rescue Groups. The proceeds from the pet admission fee can be used as a fund raiser for these groups. On warm days, make sure owners are not leaving their pets locked in cars. Most states have laws which allow police to break into locked cars to rescue pets in distress and take them to the nearest shelter.

  1. Only one pet per owner is admitted.
  2. Only pets in good health and displaying good behavior will be admitted. The festival will not admit the following: sick, nervous, noisy, unruly (leash lunges, barking at passers by) , growling, animals. Such determination shall be the sole discretion of festival staff.
  3. Allowed pets are limited to the following: dogs, cats, guinea pigs, gerbils, rabbits, hamsters, rats, mice, pot bellied pigs, ferrets, sugar gliders, hedgehogs.
  4. Animals not listed above will need prior clearance. No primates, raccoons, skunks, foxes, squirrels or other native mammalian wildlife will be admitted.
  1. All past registered pet owners will receive a PET Pre-Qualification and waiver form by mail.
  2. All pet owners will be directed through the pet gate and read and understand, and sign the Pet Rules.
  3. Every pet owner must provide proof of current rabies vaccination and other state required vaccinations, through a current rabies tag or vaccination certificate.
  1. Each pet will receive a numbered identification tag (numbed key tag). The owner’s name and phone number will be recorded on the pet’s tag.
  2. Each pet will be photographed. This photograph will have the number of the corresponding Pet I.D. tag.
  3. Pet owner will receive tools (plastic bag, and glove) for pet waste clean up. Additional supplies will be available at the Pet Waste Area (near the privies).

The pet admission fee is $5.00.

4. Celtic Festival Dog Rules

Dog Tickets Required: $4.00
(Portion of ticket price assists AARF, a local animal charity)

A reasonably priced ticket is helpful to encourage responsible dog owners. Sharing this ticket profit with a dog rescue group makes it very "friendly" and the dog group should help take the tickets and give you more staff to work with as they are the beneficiaries. Once ticket is purchased, give each dog a collar tag (luggage tag) that it must wear. The collar tags are a great sponsorship opportunity with the sponsors name on one side and the dogs name and address on the other. ALSO, GIVE THEM A BAGGIE FOR CLEAN-UP

One Dog Per Person

An absolute must. One person cannot handle more than one dog.
No exceptions.

Proof of Current Rabies Vaccination

Current tag on collar or paper certificate. Without proof, NO ENTRY. Be sure to advertise this information with your event from the very beginning. A pet policy recording on your festival voice mail would also be helpful. Minnesota Renaissance festival has a voicemail stating the pet rules for customers who wish to bring their pets. (Allowing dog owner to call veterinarians office for confirmation of rabies inoculation at the gate is messy, time consuming and most vets close at noon on Saturdays. Have sign at ticket table stating all rules in writing and well displayed

Standard Leads Only - No Retractable Leashes

Contact a local pet store for sponsorship or cut rate in purchasing some standard leashes. Loan a standard leash to those with the retractable type. (Selling leashes doesn't work well) Keep the retractable leash and exchange when they leave.

Dogs Must Be Under Control at All Times

Your staff must know what the dog collar tags look like and be instructed to ask those without to get a ticket/tag or leave and follow up to be sure it happens!

Please Clean Up After Your Pet

This seems to work really well.

Most folks are so pleased to be able to bring their pets. Have a Parade of Dogs or some activity for them. When the animals are well behaved their people are too! Be aware that there are areas where greater control is necessary such as around other animal exhibits: Petting Zoo, Birds, Cows, Sheep and children -- especially small ones with food. Have good caution signs in primary areas of concern.

This has worked very well for our Festival and I'll be glad to answer any questions:

Have a great event!


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