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We are the nonprofit organization Pet Rock Fest, Inc., and much like that doggie or kitty at the shelter, we are looking for a new home. 

We are the largest animal festival in New England and a leading animal welfare organization. Once again, we find ourselves after 25 years without a home for our annual flagship festival (also called the Pet Rock Festival). We’re in search of a new permanent location and we’re hoping you can help. 

What we are hoping to achieve in reaching out to you is some insight into ideas of venues in your town or surrounding areas that may be able to accommodate our next festival in September 2024. 

We founded Pet Rock Fest in 1999 as an animal welfare nonprofit and event and have been increasingly successful each year. We have hosted our annual festival in a select few venues, and through no fault of our own, are searching again. 


The Pet Rock Festival is an annual event held on the Sunday following Labor Day weekend (usually the second Sunday in September). It is an afternoon expo/festival that includes live music, vendors, vegetarian food, contests, doggie water park, awards, performances, and most importantly, more than 150 animal welfare organizations who set up and share their message and mission.

ALL proceeds from the festival are distributed to New England-based animal welfare organizations, including shelters, cruelty watchdogs, sanctuaries, rescue leagues and many others. Regular recipients of our festival include Red Rover/KIND News, Foster Parrots, Animal Legal Defense Fund, Maple Farm Sanctuary, and the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA), to name but a few. $1,000, $500, and $250 awards are also awarded to rescue groups and shelters that win our coveted “lottery” and “adoptable dog parade” during the festival.

Pet Rock Fest has distributed more than half a million dollars since its inception to worthy animal causes in New England. We’ve also given to groups such as Mass. Vest-A Dog, Dog Orphans, the Community Cat Center, the Worcester Animal Rescue League and the Second Chance Animal Shelter, and contributed to funds for veterinary care, as well as reward funds to help catch perpetrators of animal cruelty.

Pet Rock Fest is not only a huge animal event, but a year-round endeavor to educate, promote and communicate with people the importance of treating animals with kindness. Our Website,, and social media pages have become a portal for concerned animal lovers to unite and share information and thoughts. 

Starting at the Hebert Candy Mansion in 1999, several years later we outgrew the location and were hosted by Quinsigamond Community College for many years, followed by many years at Wyman Gordon in Grafton. The relationships have been wonderful, and we’d be happy to connect you with representatives from the venues for references. 

We hope to find a location with a similar size space and the willingness to allow us to transform this space into a well-organized and reputable one-day event that raises money and awareness for such an important cause. Ideally, we’re looking for a large, fenced in field, accessible from major highways or routes, with ample parking. Facilities and amenities would be a plus, but we’re very accustomed to bringing in our own.  

We are a well-oiled machine, and Pet Rock Fest organizers professionally coordinate, set up, and break down the event with the utmost respect and consideration for the venue and its owners. 

This festival has been supported by so many in our local area for so long that we cannot consider retiring its drive and momentum. We welcome any suggestions or recommendations you may have to offer us assistance for our worthy venture. 

Not only would the collaboration be beneficial to us, but is a positive alliance for the town and/or venue that ultimately hosts us. Our reputation is stellar, and we’ve helped hundreds of charities with thousands of dollars since we started. 

Please visit our website and visit our Facebook page to learn how we got our start, what our Festival is all about, and many opportunities to visit our past years' history of success. 

Thank you for your assistance and consideration in this time-sensitive matter.

Please reach out to should you be able to help with our search for a new home.

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February, 2024

Contact: Charlene Arsenault RELEASE UPON RECEIPT


Jeannie Hebert


Pet Rock Fest Funds Animal Kindness Magazine Subscriptions to Multiple Massachusetts Classrooms

February, 2024 - Pet Rock Fest is pleased to announce its ongoing support for Red Rover's publication, KIND News, through a generous donation. This contribution will fund numerous magazine subscriptions for 4th and 5th-grade classrooms across Worcester County.

KIND News, a publication that has long been endorsed by Pet Rock Fest, perfectly aligns with our mission—a mission born out of a desire to educate children about the significance of kindness to animals, sparked by a cruelty case that inspired the festival's inception.

"Teaching children humanity contributes to a more humane adult world overall," notes founding partner Charlene Arsenault. "If kids aren't being taught kindness to animals at home, at least they'll be exposed to these values at school, where they spend a significant portion of their time. Instilling the importance of kindness to animals in young minds helps shape their personalities and fosters compassion and empathy for all living creatures.” 

Pet Rock Fest meticulously selects beneficiaries based on their impact on animal welfare in the New England area. With an abundance of outstanding animal welfare organizations in the region, we channel our proceeds towards charities supporting various causes, from shelters to law reform to sanctuaries for farm animals.

“Pet Rock Fest is delighted to reinstate our relationship with KIND News,” adds Pet Rock Fest founding partner Jeannie Hebert. “It is so important for young people to realize at an early age the importance of kindness to animals. It helps to develop their personalities in dealing with later life issues and cultivate relationships with the best friends they will ever have!”


The funds for this year will facilitate the distribution of Kind News magazine to 22 Worcester elementary teachers and approximately 600 students throughout 2024. Heidi Colonna, the writer and co-editor of KIND News, expresses gratitude, saying, “We're thrilled to continue Pet Rock's celebration of the human-animal bond in these classrooms through articles that explore how to be a responsible pet caregiver, how our pets communicate through body language, and inspirational people taking action to help. From young people donating supplies to animal shelters to NFL players speaking up for pets in crisis, the 'humane hero' stories featured are really powerful, because they're modeling kind actions which we hope will inspire other acts of kindness."

In addition to giving more than a half million in donations to animal welfare organizations since 1999, Pet Rock Fest has also supported several reward funds in local animal cruelty cases that aid in finding perpetrators of that cruelty, and has also paid for medical bills for pet guardians who were unable to afford it. 

Apart from donating over half a million dollars to animal welfare organizations since 1999, Pet Rock Fest has supported reward funds in local animal cruelty cases and covered medical bills for pet guardians facing financial constraints

Celebrating 25 years, Pet Rock Fest is the largest event of its kind in the Northeast, an annual festival that promotes kindness to animals and responsible pet ownership. Pet Rock Fest, held in September each year, is a family festival that features guest speakers, vegetarian food, live music, games, events, a raffle, vendors, and hundreds of area animal welfare organizations. Pet Rock is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization. Donations are tax deductible.


If you’d like more information, visit

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The Massachusetts State Police is proud to announce that it is part of the new Suffolk County Animal Cruelty Task Force, the county’s first multi-agency effort aimed at reducing abuse of animals and coordinating law enforcement efforts to help bring animal abusers to justice.

The task force was created by Suffolk County District Attorney Kevin Hayden with assistance from the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL-Boston), the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA), and law enforcement agencies throughout the county. Two Massachusetts State Police members, Trooper Carlo Mastromattei of the Troop A Community Action Team and Trooper Christopher Kane of the State Police-Revere Barracks, serve on the task force.

Hayden, a dog owner, said the task force will improve the quality of information and methods used among the participating agencies in investigations of crimes against animals.

“Anyone who has ever loved or owned a pet knows the joy and happiness they bring to our lives," Hayden said. "All these pets ask in return is to be sheltered, fed and cared for when they’re sick or hurt. Sadly, too many animals and pets end up getting hurt through malicious intent or conscious neglect. This task force will improve our ability to investigate, charge and prosecute these cases and, hopefully, reduce them."

The MSPCA and ARL-Boston conducted hundreds of investigations of animal abuse in 2023. Last year, 17 individuals were charged in Suffolk County with at least one animal cruelty related offense. Sixteen of the defendants were adults and one was a juvenile.

The owner of a dog training and boarding facility in South Boston was charged last May following an investigation by the Animal Rescue League after three dogs lost significant amounts of weight or were injured during their stay at the facility.

A Revere man was charged with assaulting his roommate and killing his dog in August. First responders entering the man’s apartment found a dog covered in blood, suffering from at least five stab wounds.

A Boston man was charged after a neighbor noticed a strong odor emanating from his Chelsea apartment. A well-being check led to the discovery of a feces-covered apartment and a decomposing dog.

In November, a Boston woman was charged after multiple witnesses reported seeing her punch, kick, and strike her dog with a glass bottle in the Boston Common area.

 Animal cruelty cases are increasing in Suffolk County and statewide. According to the Massachusetts Trial Court, animal cruelty cases have increased more than 70 percent from 2019-2022. According to the Domestic Violence Awareness Project, up to 70 percent of domestic violence victims have pets and of those, up to nearly three-fourths of them report their animals are hurt or killed by their abuser.

The Suffolk County Animal Cruelty Task Force will centralize the various agencies involved in animal abuse cases into a group of designated individuals with knowledge of animal cruelty law and enforcement tactics. This streamlined approach will improve information flow, create a more proficient understanding of animal cruelty investigations and prosecutions, and identify necessary legislative improvements to the state’s animal protection laws.

The task force will be chaired by Assistant District Attorney Amelia Singh, chief of the DA’s office in Chelsea District Court, and will include members of the Boston, Chelsea, Winthrop and Revere police departments, the Massachusetts State Police, the Massachusetts Environmental Police, the Animal Rescue League of Boston, the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Massachusetts Department of Agriculture and the animal control departments in Boston, Chelsea, Winthrop and Revere.

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