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Adoptable pets showcased at Las Vegas Pride Festival

Skye Marsh chatted with attendees Saturday at the Las Vegas Pride Festival as a 25-year-old parrot named Radar perched nearby.

Marsh was among the exhibitors, including local rescue groups and pet-related businesses, at the festival’s Pride Pets area at the Downtown Las Vegas Events Center. On-leash pets were also welcome anywhere at the festival.

SouthWest Exotic Avian Rescue, a Las Vegas-based parrot rescue and nonprofit in its sixth year, has nearly 200 birds ready to be adopted in about 60 foster homes.

Marsh said she doesn’t care if an adoptive home has “two men, two women or whatever.”

“No judgment here,” she said. “I’m just looking for a good home.”

The goal was for rescue pets to be seen at the festival and eventually get adopted, said Trish Davis, a volunteer for the Pride Pets area. There weren’t on-site pet adoptions Saturday.

The Pride Pets area has been offered for a few years. On Saturday, David Wood of St. George, Utah, walked around with his dog Pepper, a 5-year-old Australian shepherd-border collie mix who was wearing a rainbow-colored neck bandana.

Wood said he visiting Las Vegas and remembered it was Pride Festival weekend, so he wanted to check it out. It’s the third year he has attended.

Forget Me Not Animal Sanctuary, a Las Vegas nonprofit formed in 2016, had kittens on-site and a 5-month-old pig named Vess.

It’s the first year the nonprofit has participated in the festival.

“They are welcoming and very accommodating for rescue groups,” founder Kierra Johnson said of organizers.

At the booth for Dog Food 2 My Door, a Henderson company that’s nearly two years old, employee Chloe Kelly greeted visitors.

Her 3-year-old rescue dog Oakleigh, who was adopted from Heaven Can Wait Animal Society, was sporting a plastic Hawaiian lei and a spray-painted tail.

The Pride Festival — a celebration of the LGBTQ community — kicked off Friday and continued Saturday.

Organizers were expecting as many as 10,000 attendees Saturday and had logged about 8,000 presale tickets. Festivities were slated to continue until 1 a.m. Sunday.

In previous years, attendance hovered around 5,000, said Brady McGill, president of Las Vegas Pride. He attributed the increase this year to marketing and the new downtown venue. The festival was previously at Sunset Park for three years.

Plus, the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots — when New York City police raided a gay club in 1969 and six days of protests followed — has been getting a lot of attention this year, McGill said.

The festival included a Friday night parade, more than 100 exhibitors, a community stage, drag queen story time by Henderson Libraries and an entertainment lineup.

Contact Julie Wootton-Greener at jgreener@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2921. Follow @julieswootton on Twitter.

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