Mutts Mania: A Day for the Dogs in East Hanover
More than 1,000 expected to attend 12th annual event at Lurker Park Sunday.
This is just one of the many pet-related activites going on at 12th annual dog lovers' event held by the Mt. Pleasant Animal Shelter. About 1,500 people are expected to attend the event on Sunday, which will go from noon to 4 p.m.
The "Unleash the Love" fashion show, sponsored by stationary company Sent-Well, is new to the event this year and is bringing in celebrity judges and models to participate.
Creator of Sent-Well Nicole Elizabeth is putting on the show to celebrate the launch of her pet stationary line and to give shelter dogs some exposure.
"I'm excited that so many different people have come together to help to put this together and make it fun, and make it just not a costume parade but more of a real fashion show," Elizabeth said.
Starting at 2 p.m. the canines will showcase their outfits to famed judges Elisa Jimenez from season four of Lifetime's "Project Runway" and Karen Biehl from NYC life’s reality series "Doggie Moms" for the chance at winning up to $250 in prizes.
The judges will select the top three dogs in the best outfits, with the Best in Show dog receiving a basket including many items such as custom pet stationary from Sent-Well, pet baked goods from Bubba Rose, toys from BarkBox, and a grooming gift certificate to Wash n' Wiggle.
Dogs participating in the show will be from both shelters and anyone else who wants to enter their dog. Owners can enter their dog at no cost either before the event or the day of, and can either bring their own costumes or borrow one.
The shelters that are participating are St. Huberts, Mid Atlantic Great Dane Rescue, Noah's Ark, SOS Beagle Rescue, NJ Boxer Rescue, and Cold Noses Warm Hearts.
Dogs from these shelters will be available for adoption afterwards, and will walk the runway in outfits made by New York City designers. While on stage, the dogs will have their information presented.
"We're hoping to bring awareness to different rescue dogs and that some of the dogs that are a little harder to adopt will get some exposure," Elizabeth said.
Some of the other events going on throughout the day are a "Silly Pet Tricks" contest, a doggie beauty contest, and prizes for the best kisser and fastest tail-wagger.
Owners will also be able to get their dogs fitted with a microchip for free, and find a new furry friend at the Pet Adoption Expo.
Mutts Mania costs $10 for adults and kids, and is free for dogs. All proceeds will benefit shelter animals.