Animals in the School Archive : Pet Parade!

A student with their pet at the April 1936 Fruitvale School Pet Parade.
A student with their pet at the April 1936 Fruitvale School Pet Parade. Oakland Public Library, Oakland History Center.
The Oakland History Center's Oakland Public School Archive has books, directories, school photographs, yearbooks, student publications, and program brochures from public schools in Oakland. The School Archive includes elementary schools, junior high schools, and high schools. It's always worth contacting us to find out if we have something you're interested in. 
 
 
One highlight of the School Archive is a small collection of photographs from Fruitvale School's Pet Parade dated April 1936. These are a few of my favorites from that collection. 

Students with their pets at the April 1936 Fruitvale School Pet Parade.
Students with their pets at the April 1936 Fruitvale School Pet Parade. Oakland Public Library, Oakland History Center.

Richard Higgins with his pet at the April 1936 Fruitvale School Pet Parade.
Richard Higgins with his pet at the April 1936 Fruitvale School Pet Parade. Oakland Public Library, Oakland History Center.

A student with their pet at the April 1936 Fruitvale School Pet Parade.
A student with their pet at the April 1936 Fruitvale School Pet Parade. Oakland Public Library, Oakland History Center.

A student with their pet at the April 1936 Fruitvale School Pet Parade.
A student with their pet at the April 1936 Fruitvale School Pet Parade. Oakland Public Library, Oakland History Center.

The only other evidence of Fruitvale School's pet parade is this note in the Oakland Tribune from April 9, 1935 describing that year's Pet Parade. 

April 9, 1935, Oakland Tribune article describing the 1935 Fruitvale School Pet Parade.
April 9, 1935, Oakland Tribune.

Fruitvale School wasn't the only place for Oakland kids to parade with their pets.

There was at least one other pet parade in the city in 1935, as described in the Oakland Tribune on August 8, 1935.

Article describing an upcoming a pet parade from the Oakland Tribune, August 8, 1935.
Oakland Tribune, August 8, 1935.

There was also an annual pet parade sponsored by the Fruitvale Businessmen's Association for several years starting in 1940. Perhaps this was inspired by the popularity of the school's parade.

 
Photo from an Oakland Tribune article from March 21, 1941 describing an upcoming pet parade through the Fruitvale neighborhood.
Oakland Tribune, March 21, 1941
 
There were many other pet parades throughout the years. The first mention I found of an Oakland pet parade in the Tribune was from 1923. The most recent mention was in 1971, when Children's Fairyland was advertising daily pet parades. There were also pet parades advertised in Alameda, Newark, Danville, and other parts of the East Bay.
 
Some of the parades were held in commemoration of Be Kind to Animals Week, or Be Kind to Animals Clubs, which were sponsored by Humane Societies starting around 1917. Others were sponsored by clubs and business organizations, sometimes as part of a carnival or fundraiser. 
 
Did you ever attend an Oakland pet parade? 
 
If you want to search for more Oakland Tribune articles on pet parades, Fruitvale School, Be Kind to Animals Week, the Fruitvale Businessmen's Association, or any other subject, you can access Newspapers.com for free with your Oakland Public Library card. To find it, just search for "newspapers.com" in the library catalog, or click here. Most issues of the Oakland Tribune are available from 1874-1976. Newer issues are added regularly. Need a library card? Get one here
 
Want to see more from our School Archive? We have more photographs and a wealth of other information about Oakland schools here in the Oakland History Center. Want to reminisce by looking at your high school yearbook? Want to donate your old class portraits to our School Archive? Give us a call or email us at ohc@oaklandlibrary.org so we can help you get started. You can also drop in to do research any time the Main Library is open. We recommend making an appointment here, since we may need to pull materials from storage to answer your questions. Hope to see you soon!
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