PrideFest St. Louis 2013: No Pets Allowed!

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No matter how much pride your pets have, they'll have to stay at home this year.

The organizers of PrideFest 2013 in St. Louis -- which will for the first time take place in downtown this year instead of Tower Grove -- have announced a new pet policy.

No pets allowed on festival grounds! Service animals, however, are permitted.

What's the reason for the change? The health and safety of the revelers -- and their pets.

The organizers write on pridestl.org:

On the advice of local veterinary professionals and animal advocacy groups, the PrideFest board of directors has elected not to allow pets on the festival grounds in 2013. Service animals are the only exception.

We know this will be disappointing news to some attendees, who love to make their animals a part of the festivities. The majority of us are pet owners as well, and pets are like members of the family.

However, this decision was made with the health and safety of pets in mind. Local vets have reported dozens of cases of dogs with burnt paw pads following PrideFest weekend. There is also no way to check for animal vaccinations, which could potentially expose healthy pets to diseases including parvo, distemper, or rabies.

Large crowds, loud music, and big crowds can also be overwhelming and stressful for pets. This was not an easy decision, but we made it with the health and safety of everyone in mind--especially your four-legged family members.

This pet would presumably also be banned. - JON GITCHOFF FOR RFT

This was, apparently, a pretty intense decision.

The festival is the weekend of June 29 and 30.

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Sam Levin on Twitter at @SamTLevin.

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