CORVALLIS, Ore. — Oregon State University’s popular Pet Day event returns this year from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 6, and is open to community members of all ages and pets of all shapes and sizes.
The free event is organized by first- and second-year students in OSU’s Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine and takes place outside the Lois Bates Acheson Veterinary Teaching Hospital at 700 SW 30th St. on the Corvallis campus.
Pet Day is a chance for community members to see and learn about different kinds of animals, tour the veterinary school and join in a range of pet- and family-friendly activities.
The day begins with the Purina 5K Fun Run at 9 a.m. around the northwest side of campus. Register in advance for $20; same-day registration opens at 7 a.m. May 6 and costs $25. Leashed pets are welcome and costumes are encouraged.
Kids can get their toys stitched up at the teddy bear surgery booth, visit a hands-on science station and explore the “Wonders of Anatomy” display. For a modest fee, they can also enjoy the Kids Zone with a bounce house, face painting, fishing game and craft table.
Several local groups are bringing their animals for demonstrations at Pet Day, including Brad’s World Reptiles, Koenig’s Llamas, the Best Friends Dog Obedience and Agility School, and Timberview Farm’s reindeer herd. Some of the veterinary college’s teaching animals will also be in attendance, including horses, goats and a cow. It’s not a petting zoo, but veterinary students will be nearby to answer questions about the different species.
Cat owners can enter their feline supermodels in the cat photo contest, while pet owners of all types can show off their creativity (and their pets’ patience) in the pet costume contest for a $3 entry fee, or $5 for a team of two or more pets. There will also be dog-wash and nail-trim stations; no fees but donations are welcome.
Tours of the veterinary hospital will occur every 15 minutes from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. and start at Magruder Hall 1152 on the southeast side of the building. Pets are not allowed on the indoor tours, but leashed animals are welcome in every other area of Pet Day.
Chez Alishon Mediterranean Bistro, Cheesy Stuffed Burgers and Kona Ice food trucks will be on site selling snacks and lunch.
In total, 162 first- and second-year veterinary students have been involved in organizing this year’s event, including Michaela Rybolt, a second-year student who was also one of the lead organizers in 2022, when Pet Day returned after a two-year pandemic hiatus.
“I think last year’s Pet Day was received super well by attendees. I was grateful to receive multiple thank-yous at the event for the efforts put in by students, and for the college opening its doors so wide in general,” Rybolt said. “Pet Day is our way of saying thank you to the community for trusting us with your beloved pets. I hope attendees can walk away from Pet Day feeling more connected to their pets, the college and the next generation of veterinarians.”
The event provides an opportunity for veterinary students to give community members a peek behind the scenes of the college and the teaching hospital, and to empower pet owners with education about animals and the treatments they receive at OSU, Rybolt said. It’s also a fundraiser, with the money going toward first- and second-year students’ class projects.
“It was amazing to see the community support last year,” said Patrick Callagy, another second-year student who was also on the organizing committee in 2022. “Everyone said that it was the best Pet Day they have been to. We hope to continue this trend and cannot wait for it again this year!”
About the OSU Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine: The college serves the needs of Oregon, the nation and the world by training the next generation of practice-ready veterinarians, providing state-of-the-art diagnostic and clinical services and supporting the continuing education of veterinary practitioners. Biomedical research conducted at the college increasingly expands the scope of veterinary medicine to address both animal health issues and the relevance of animal diseases to public health.