BRUNSWICK Heads and surrounds have no shortage of pet lovers judging by the huge turnout to the town's inaugural pet show on Sunday.
The Brunswick Progress Association dreamed up the event to bring locals together in part as a counterpoint to the bigger out-of-towner festivals which have spilled over into Bruns of late.
About 300 pet owners of all ages turned up to the grounds of Brunswick Public School, proving the town's residents know a genuine community event when they see one.
Several fun competitions were held in different pet categories with the day culminating in the debut "Billinudgel Cup," a 50m canine sprint - with no greyhounds allowed.
Other awards included the best dressed dog, a best tricks dog, a "sausage race", the cutest puppy, and the dog which looked most like its owner.
The cats had their share of attention too, with awards including the loudest purrer, the cutest kitten, and the prettiest queen cat.
Ten year-old Aniele Carpenter's cat Pussy took out the handsomest tomcat and the biggest cat awards. Aniele was also showing off her brother Will's beagle cavalier King Charles cross, Buddy.
Buddy, a rather chubby pup, came runner-up in the sausage race, which involved running the length of a cricket pitch, eating a sausage, and returning to the starting line.
"He eats a lot," Aniele confessed.
"Pretty much everyone in our street gives him leftover food, especially our next door neighbours. They give him bones every morning."
Rabbits, guinea pigs, budgies, and parrots were also on show, as well as a solitary black lamb named Elsie.
The day was more than just good family fun - it also allowed pet owners to educate themselves about being responsible pet parents.
Stalls run by local vet clinics and the CAWI animal shelter included information on desexing, microchipping, council information on dog walking areas and general pet care.
Visitors were also given a demonstration from the dog loving members from BARCO, the local dog obedience school, learning about being "calm, consistent, and clear" with their canines.
"It's something nice for the people of Brunswick Heads and their children," organiser Robin Baker said.
"It's a happy, low-key day."
Funds raised from the event were also being put towards some serious local causes, including lobbying against the state takeover of Crown Lands in Brunswick Heads foreshore, and raising awareness about holiday letting issues in the town.
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