It smelled a little like wet dog in Woodland Hills, Calif., on Sunday, April 22, but no one minded. The rain began to hit just as cars started to pull into the Pierce College parking lot for the sixth annual Nuts for Mutts Dog Show and Pet Fair.
More than 6,000 people attended and more than 600 dogs competed in the mutts-only dog show, which raised money for New Leash on Life, a Los Angeles nonprofit organization that has rescued and placed more than 3,000 dogs.
The rain stopped long enough for a Chihuahua mix named Binky to win Best in Show, the top award in more than 30 categories, including Best Dressed, Cutest Puppy, Fastest Eater, Best Kisser and Most Obedient.
Each of the categories – the Most Vocal, in particular – kept things yapping and yipping all day and continually pulled people through the turnstiles. Breed-specific categories also drew crowds at this year’s mutt show, with competitions like Best Lab Mix, Best Chihuahua Mix, and Mystery Mutt contests for small and large dogs.
For those taking a break from competition, the show also provided a bounce house and two or three small carnival rides. For lunch, attendees enjoyed Thai food and more traditional fair fare.
While folks noshed, a band played on, and dogs mingled, sniffed, and sometimes growled.
More than 70 exhibitors, as well as 15 sponsors including Whole Foods Market, Naked Juice, and Big Dogs apparel turned out to talk to attendees hoping to sneak a peek at several celebrity judges. In fact, the exhibitor booths seemed to be one of the biggest shows at the show.
Celebrity judges included stars like Fred Willard (from “For Your Consideration”), Wayne Knight (“Seinfeld”), Roma Maffia (“Nip/Tuck”), and Allison Janney (“The West Wing”). While the rain kept several scheduled celebrities from attending, plenty of judges were on hand to weigh in on the best mutts in town.
Proceeds from the event benefited New Leash on Life Animal Rescue in the Los Angeles area, whose Lend a Paw program trains select rescued dogs to become assistance and therapy dogs. For more information on New Leash on Life, visit www.NLOL.org.
Do you have a prize-worthy mutt? Enter him in DOG FANCY’s Mixed Up Mutts Photo Contest for the chance to appear in DOG FANCY magazine. Click here to enter.