Wag Your Tail If You Love Dogs

Doggy day in Escondido raises money and awareness

NHLI via Getty Images

   A good cause brought dog enthusiasts and their best pals together on Sunday, according to our partners at the North County Times. The 10th annual Paws in the Park fundraiser, sponsored by the Escondido Humane Society, took place at Kit Carson Park.

   A canine costume contest showcased get-ups such as Indiana Jones, San Diego Chargers cheerleaders, Mardi Gras clowns, and more showed off their glamorous side. 

   "I like horses," said Shelby Spelce, 12, of Scripps Ranch. So naturally, she dressed up her Chi-weenie (a cross between a Chihuahua and a Dachshund) like a horse with a toy cowboy on top.

   About 900 people and their pets attended Sunday's event said Sally Costello, executive director of the Escondido Human Society.

   "This is a great community day," Costello said, also pointing out several dogs wearing "Adopt Me" outfits that she hoped would attract new owners.

   Costello said donations and cash sponsorships of 1.5- and 2.5-mile dog walks were expected to exceed last year's collection of more than $100,000 for the nonprofit animal rescue, care and education organization.

   Several staff members at Mohnacky Animal Hospital in Escondido wore "Strut Your Mutt" T-shirts on the dog walks with their variety of purebred and mixed-breed pets in tow.

   "We already work with animals, so we already love the cause," said Mohnacky staff member Stacy Rodgers of Escondido. "There are just so many animals in need."

   Esther Grenier, an employee of Kahoots Pet Store in Escondido, was handing out free pet food samples at one of more than a dozen booths set up at the park.

   "Especially with this economy, to see people coming here to put forward their time and money is heartening to see," Grenier said.

   "It's fun for me to see all the different dogs," Grenier added. "This is such an awesome event."

   Kathleen and Gary Tapp of San Marcos brought their four large dogs sporting festive collars ---- two Akitas, one Great Pyrenees and a Samoyed mix.

   Kathleen also is a humane society volunteer, she said.

   "What better way to support the community than to support the underdogs, so to speak. They can't speak for themselves," she said.

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