Tillman the skateboarding bulldog rolls into Tempe's PetFest!

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

TEMPE, Ariz. -- It's all about our four-legged friends this weekend at Tempe Town Lake. Thousands of people - and pets! - are expected to turn out for the Walk to Save Animals and PetFest.

The event to benefit the Arizona Animal Welfare League & SPCA, the state's oldest and largest no-kill shelter. The event includes 2K & 5K pet walks and a PetFest featuring dog agility demonstrations, training advice, pet photos with Santa, adoptable dogs, and up-close interactions with exotic pet ambassadors from the AAWL & SPCA Education Department.

And one big highlight of the event will be a furry fellow with not only four legs, but four wheels! Tillman the skateboarding bulldog has become a national phenomenon. He'll be "hot-dogging" for the crowd, showing off his speed and agility on a skateboard.

"He's just kind of a freak! He's been obsessed with skateboards since he was the size of a doughnut," says his owner Ron Davis, who tells us that it's hard to get Tillman to stop! "I have to take the board away from him and hide it; otherwise, he'd go for hours and hours."

And believe it or not, this hot dog is no spring chicken. He's nine years old! "He still acts like a puppy," says Davis. "I'm waiting for him to slow down but it hasn't happened."

Tillman often performs to help raise money for rescues and other charities. "I'm so blessed to have him," says Davis. "It's good to have him put smiles on people's faces. He's just a neat little guy."

The Walk to Save Animals and PetFest event also includes live music,  other entertainment, vendors, a kids' zone with bounce houses, face painting, games and prizes, and a food court.

When: Sat., Nov. 8, 2014, 8:30 am to 12:30 pm
Where: Tempe Beach Park at Tempe Town Lake
Cost: Raise or donate a minimum of $30 to participate in the walk. Individuals and organizations can form walk teams and raise money through pledges. Admission to the PetFest is free.

With hundreds of healthy or treatable pets put to death in Maricopa County each week, AAWL & SPCA is raising funds to save more lives through its annual Walk to Save Animals. AAWL & SPCA rescues pets from open-intake shelters, provides medical and behavioral care, as well as food, housing and socialization, and finds them "forever" homes. The organization's success rate in placing animals in new homes is significantly better than most shelters: On average, 20 percent of animals adopted from shelters nationwide are returned to the shelter after adoption, while AAWL & SPCA's return rate is only 10 percent.

Register online at www.aawl.org. For more information about the event, call 480-423-1511.