Man’s best friend had its chance to get all dolled up and shine at the 5th Annual Dogtoberfest on October 20th. The costume contest served as the culmination of the afternoon, where dogs and their owners were able to walk around in a variety of matching outfits. There were superheroes, scarecrows, astronauts and even a bride and a groom.
The costume contest’s emcee, Brian Sanders, dressed his dogs, sister and brother Abby and Austin, as a Pink Lady and T-Bird from “Grease.” This Dogtoberfest was also special for Sanders because it marks the one-year anniversary of when he and his wife rescued the brother and sister pair at last year’s event.
One definite stand out costume was the recreation of the iconic “I Love Lucy” Job Switching episode with the candy factory. Janet, owner of pug Kiwi, spent months on creating the replica of the factory, complete with working conveyor belt and plenty of chocolate. While Kiwi took the lead and “played” Lucy, Janet pulled her along as Ethel. The hard work definitely paid off, because the duo won for overall Funniest Costume and the Best in Show from the KXAN judges.
Besides the costume contest, the event kicked off with the inaugural DogtoberTROT, a 1K walk for dogs and their owners. It also had wiener dog races, a silent auction and raffle. In addition to these, there were demonstrations including Doga, CPR for Pets and People, and an Austin Police Department K9 Unit demo. There were several dog-friendly vendors setup during the fest, handing out treats and telling visitors about their businesses.
Co-founders Julie Strong and Stan Parish were impressed at the more than 5,000 people who were waking round the event. Strong said it was the largest crowd she had ever seen.
The entire event aimed to raise money and awareness for eight Austin rescue organizations. The organizations were: Austin Boxer Rescue, Austin German Shepherd Rescue, Ay Chihuahua Rescue, Pug Rescue Austin, Austin Dog Rescue, Austin Sheltie Rescue, Hound Rescue and Wee Rescue.
While plenty of dogs were making new friends and showing off their costumes, their owners were able to learn more about the resources available in Austin and ways they can help the animal rescue community.