Harbor View Hotel hosts 5th annual Celebration of Pets

Barbara Ronchetti, owner of Island Alpaca Company, paraded alpacas Roberto (left) and Il Bacio on the porch of the Harbor View Hotel Saturday. — Photo by Michelle Gross

Dozens of dogs, a goat, even a pair of alpacas occupied the Harbor View Hotel in Edgartown Saturday, as part of the Animal Shelter of Martha’s Vineyard’s (ASMV) 5th annual Celebration of Pets.

Dogs and their owners, led by the black Lab, Black Dog mascot, paraded around the Edgartown Lighthouse before returning to the hotel porch for some mixing, mingling and, of course, plenty of sniffing and scurrying.

Members of the ASMV distributed ribbons, bandanas, and biscuits to all the pets and described some of the animals currently up for adoption.

“It’s a fun day for all the pets on the Island and a nice gesture that the shelter does for the community,” said shelter director Lisa Hayes.

The Blessing of the Animals was to have been offered by the Rev. Michael Nagle of the Good Shepherd Parish, however, due to an unexpected delay, he could not attend.

Established in May 2009, after the Massachusetts Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA) discontinued its services, this is the first time the animal shelter has held the event at Harbor View.

For traveling pet owners, Harbor View Hotel now offers a VIP (Very Important Pup) pet-friendly policy that allows up to two dogs of any size for a charge of $50 per night, per dog.

Guests of the hotel are encouraged to enjoy the Island’s many dog-friendly spots, including Lighthouse Beach in Edgartown, the State Forest’s trails, and the Land Bank’s Tradewinds Airport ,which features a 70-acre dog park.

Ms. Hayes plans to host a “brick campaign” soon, to allow pet owners and others to honor or memorialize a pet or person. The bricks will be laid outside of the shelter later this summer.

Contributions are always welcome. The ASMV is funded solely by donations. For more information, please call 508-627-8662, or visit the shelter for more information on adoption. Gifts may be made to The Animal Shelter of Martha’s Vineyard, P.O. Box 1829, Edgartown MA 02539