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Huggable, adorable animals snuggled by children at Willowbrook Mall

This news story was published on April 19, 2014.
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MASON CITY – Willowbrook Mall perhaps discovered a way to draw lots of people to the mall: A family-friendly event with lots of pet-able, touchable farm animals.

An Easter-themed petting zoo was held Saturday at Willowbrook Mall, and throngs of people showed up, many with their kids, to get close to the animals. Dozens of rabbits, baby goats, chickens, a few puppies and even a pony named Oreo dazzled the littlest children, evidenced by their huge smiles. The kids just couldn’t get enough of the animals, and the parents had almost as much fun.

Oreo was in a pen, and the goats, chickens, dogs and other animals were also in a large, walk-in pen, with some straw on the floor. Parents and kids were allowed to walk inside and touch and pet the animals, who didn’t seem to mind at all. Rabbits seemed to be the main course, with cages also lined up on tables so kids could get up close and pet them

A special guest, Tiffany Faust of Strawberry Point, attended. She was named the Iowa State Rabbit Queen last year, one of eight rabbit royalty. She and her friend brought about 20 rabbits to the mall to show. As part of being the Rabbit Queen, she attends lots of similar events. She’ll be in Waterloo next week.

“I love rabbits, I have a lot of them and I love to show them,” Tiffany said. “I’ll be at the Iowa State Fair this summer, too.”

Businesses in the mall were all open, and those working were out mingling with folks. The event was sponsored in part by Runde Real Estate & Property Management.

The petting zoo is open until 4 PM Saturday.

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