Valley News -

By Jeff Pack

Pets strut their spooky stuff at Paws on the Promenade


Last updated 11/1/2018 at 5:01pm

Shane Gibson

Missy, in a witch costume and riding in a decorated wagon, attends the Paws on the Promenade event in Temecula, Oct. 20.

What's cuter than a schnauzer mix dressed as a panda bear walking down the street on a bright Saturday morning? Dozens of other four-legged friends in costumes strutting alongside him in one big pet parade.

Paws on the Promenade, hosted by Animal Friends of the Valleys, consisted of puppy costume contests and the big puppy parade – the Dog Walk Spooktacular – at the Promenade Temecula Saturday, Oct. 20.

Categories in the costume contest included Spookiest, Darling Divas, Dashing Dudes and Most Original.

The 10th annual event was a fundraiser for the animal control services and shelter organization.

"It's a community outreach," Beth Soltysiak, director of development for Animal Friends of the Valleys, said. "Plus, it promotes the shelter."

Soltysiak said currently the shelter is doing well with a 90 percent adoption rate.

"Any given day we have about 300 animals at the shelter," she said.

Soltysiak said that during the Holy Fire, which threatened homes in communities just up the road from where the Animal Friends of the Valleys is located in Wildomar, the shelter took in more than 170 animals free of charge for families affected by evacuation orders.

"We did that in a matter of hours," she said. "We fed them, put them in temperature-controlled rooms because it was more than 100 degrees out there during the fire, so they were all safe and sound. We're happy to say they are all back to their owners."

That kind of generosity has a cost.

"So we're just recouping," Soltysiak said. "Trying to raise money for our emergency fund."

Soltysiak said the shelter takes in 13,000 animals a year.

"Our biggest goal is to get them all adopted," she said. "It takes a lot of money to house them, to feed them, to take good care of them while they are under our care. So we need help to raise much needed funds."

Shane Gibson

Dogs dressed in costumes walk in a parade at the Promenade Temecula during the annual Paws on the Promenade, Oct. 20.

Doing their part to help with the fundraising were the many vendors that attended the event, offering their professional services and treats for the four-leggers that came in costume.

Soltysiak made sure to mention the sponsors of the event that made it a success.

She thanked John Hine Temecula Subaru, John Hine Temecula Mazda, and ASPCA as part of the Subaru Loves Pets campaign, as well as VCA Animal Hospitals, Paradise Chevrolet Buick GMC Cadillac, Murrieta Family Pet Hospital, Banyan Photography, Lake Elsinore Animal Hospital, Valley Veterinary Hospital, Promenade Temecula, Barons Market, Renuance Cosmetic Surgery Center, Temecula Trophy Inc. Murrieta Dance Project, ImageZone Printing and Timmy D Productions, which provided emcee and DJ services for the event.

To learn more about Animal Friends of the Valleys, visit

Jeff Pack can be reached at [email protected]


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