By Lauren Saslow

Do you consider your pet a member of the family? Are you considering adopting a dog in time for the holiday season? The 8th Annual Dog Gone Healthy Pet Fest may be the best place to find goods for your family pet or even to adopt a new pooch. On Saturday, December 5, Dog Gone Holistic will be hosting the festival in the parking lot outside its store, located in the FishHawk Publix shopping center at the corner of FishHawk Blvd. and FishHawk Crossing Blvd.

Under new ownership since February of this year, Robert Benscoter and Darrel Day continue the tradition of offering awesome customer service and holistic pet care. For the December event, Benscoter and Day have invited six rescue groups for pet adoptions. The three groups that were confirmed at the time of writing this article include Bailey’s Way Rescue, Bay Area Greyhound Adoptions and Heidi’s Legacy Dog Rescue. Benscoter and Day sent invitations to 28 vendors and local companies, and anticipate confirmations from at least 14 of them.

Last year the event attracted 600 people and raised over $2,500 through raffles, patron donations and vendor booth fees. All of the funds are donated to the participating rescue groups.

“We hope to top that this year with at least $3,000,” Day said.

Benscoter and Day invite guests to bring their pets to the festival and store, but all pets must be on a leash. On the day of the event, the store will be offering 15 percent off everything and the first 100 customers will receive a free goodie bag containing sample treats, foods and a toy for their cat or dog.

The 8th Annual Dog Gone Healthy Pet Fest will run from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. (rain or shine) in the parking lot of the Dog Gone Holistic store located at 5620 FishHawk Crossing Blvd. in Lithia. For more information, call 651-0842 or visit www.doggoneholistic.biz.