Pugs and kisses rule at 17th Annual Pug-O-Ween

Posted Monday, Nov. 04, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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More than 400 smoochable poochables showcased their flat faces and twisty tails at the 17th Annual Pug-O-Ween.

Hosted by the DFW Pug Rescue Club, promoters say the fall celebration is their largest and most successful event of the year, which features rescue pugs and a costume contest.

A silent auction, bake sale, pug races and other events raise awareness and funds for the organization, which held its 2013 event on Oct. 27 at the Grapevine Convention Center.

Vanessa Boehler, a fundraising director who owns three rescue pugs named Deuce, Fiddler and Puggy Sue, said they raised more than $20,000.

“We sold 300 hot dog lunches, 38 photos and 33 nail clips/ear cleanings,” Boehler said. “Thirty-six dogs participated in the pug races. The silent auction was the biggest and best ever. It was just the right amount of people and pugs to make it a fantastic event and a fun day.”

The costume contest is always a highlight and includes elaborate displays and ornate costumes. Some take the costume contest pretty seriously, according to Fred Campos, founder and director for DFW Pug Rescue.

“We have hundreds of pugs in costume and it gets pretty competitive,” Campos said. “It’s gotten to the point that it’s not just a dog in costume, but a whole theme. The costumes get really extravagant.”

Winners have included a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader costume complete with a football field and scoreboard, a Bride of Franken-Pug and a Michael Jackson pug.

The pug parade featured critters available for adoption and rescued pugs with their new owners.

DFW Pug Rescue Club was incorporated as a non-profit organization in July 1997 for the rescue, care and placement of unwanted, mistreated or homeless pugs in Texas. It is believed to be the largest pug rescue organization in the United States and rescues about 10 pugs per week.

The organization has rescued and placed more than 5,500 pugs and rescues all pugs regardless of age or medical condition. The all-volunteer organization does not have a staging area to hold its rescue pugs, so it depends on volunteers to provide foster homes until permanent homes can be located.

Funds donated to DFW Pug Rescue pay for veterinary care, which exceeds $200,000 a year, volunteers say.

“The financial success of Pug-O-Ween is especially beneficial this time of year,” Boehler said.

She said the funds help pay ongoing balances at the veterinary clinics so they can continue to rescue pugs.

“The number of incoming pugs escalates around the holidays and we need our doors open to help those in need,” Boehler said. “Thank you to everyone for helping us, it is all about the pugs. It truly takes a village to rescue these precious puggies.”

Marty Sabota, 817-390-7367

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