Monday, February 21, 2011

Mardi Gras goes to the dogs!

ADAM LAU/The Advocate
Bichon Frise Amber Lee, center, and poodle Kallie, left, are carted on their festive float in the Mystic Krewe of Mutts Parade on Sunday.

Mystic Krewe of Mutts parades
  • Advocate staff writer
  • Published: Feb 21, 2011 
Sunna Jones, 7, and her mother Erin planned to just enjoy the sights and sounds of a downtown parade Sunday, but ended up leaving the festivities with a new addition to their family.

Sunna got her first puppy, a dachshund mix, after she convinced her mother to adopt from a local shelter’s booth during the 12th annual Mystic Krewe of Mutts parade.
“It was love at first sight for her,” Erin Jones said of her daughter. “We’ve been thinking about getting a dog for a while, and it’s such a good cause. There are so many dogs that need homes.”

Thousands of people and their furry friends lined North Boulevard for the city’s popular dog parade, this year themed “Hurray for Howl-y-wood.” Dogs and their owners dressed as characters from “The Wizard of Oz,” “Jaws” and other movie classics as they walked the route, tossing beads to parade goers. Jill Herrington pushed her dachshund Scarlett on a lavish float, draped in yards of green velvet in a tribute to “Gone with the Wind.” Yes, Scarlett is named after the film’s main character, Herrington said. Herrington and Scarlett were dressed in the same green fabric, which garnered a lot of attention from spectators.
“I just love dogs and want to support them in whatever way I can,” Herrington said.
The Krewe of Mutts parade is a festive way to bring attention to animal overpopulation in Baton Rouge, where thousands of pets are euthanized each year, according to the parade’s organizer, the Capital Area Animal Welfare Society.

The parade serves as the society’s largest fundraiser, raising about $15,000 for the organization’s spay and neuter program, said CAAWS President Frank Parks.
“We need to get the population under control, and while adoption is great, spaying and neutering is much more effective,” Parks said. “This is a great event to support that.”
Several animal advocacy and adoption organizations set up booths in the Bark in the Park area in the median of North Boulevard. The parade showcased hundreds of adoptable dogs, who lounged in pens set up along the route or donned “Adopt Me” bandannas as they walked with handlers through the crowds. Morgan Stevens, of the Louisiana Boxer Rescue, said the organization’s booth sparked interest from people wishing to foster a pet or volunteer.

The kissing booth, where people paid a dollar to get a kiss from a boxer, helped garner donations for the group, Stevens said. A few booths down from the boxer rescue, The Pit Krewe had a similar kissing booth, where people could pay to smooch a pit bull. Winter Morvant, president of the advocacy group, said parents were hesitant to let their kids get face to face with the dog breed commonly misconceived as aggressive.
“I think we were able to change a few people’s minds about the way they view pit bulls,” Morvant said.

ADAM LAU/The Advocate

ADAM LAU/The Advocate

Looks like everyone had a doggone good time!!...Sorry couldn't resist, lol!


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