The task of picking winners from a lot of sure-to-be adorable dogs will fall to a panel of esteemed judges

The task of picking winners from a lot of sure-to-be adorable dogs will fall to a panel of esteemed judges

Cuteness competition is on like Donkey Kong

The Mutt Strut, a fun event to show off dogs of all spots and stripes from across the region set for May 1 at Centennial Park to support the Trail SPCA, has shaped up with judges secured, including Rossland’s dog-loving mayor, vendors confirmed to sell dog goodies, prizes planned, and RSS grads running a barbecue — but volunteers are still required.

The Mutt Strut, a fun event to show off dogs of all spots and stripes from across the region set for May 1 at Centennial Park to support the Trail SPCA, has shaped up with judges secured, including Rossland’s dog-loving mayor, vendors confirmed to sell dog goodies, prizes planned, and RSS grads running a barbecue — but volunteers are still required.

Organizers have planned this event as a “celebration of the dogs we love,” said the event’s organizer, Ida Koric, “and a helping hand for all those dogs that need love.”

“I really hope people come to show off their best friends, and that the community comes out to cheer on their favourites and enjoy the festivities,” she said.

The Mutt Strut is unique in our region. “There are ‘real’ dog shows, and agility trials and those kinds of things, but I wanted to put on something fun, far from elite, for the regular dog owner,” said Koric.

“I wanted people to be able to show off the things they love about their dogs, their quirkiness and uniqueness.” she continued. “I certainly think my dogs are amazing and will enjoy the chance to share them with the community.”

“We’ve secured our three judges,” said Koric. “Danielle Jackman from the Trail SPCA, Sarah Fulcher of Barks ‘n’ Rec, and Mayor Granstrom, who am I told is a huge dog lover!”

There are a lot of prizes on the line as well, donated by local sponsors, including “a couple of doggy DNA testing kits donated to us, which is great for someone with a rescue mutt because we all secretly want to know what our dogs really are, for those times on the trail you get “Awww, what a cutey — what is he?” and just have to shrug,” Koric laughed.

In the meantime, Koric’s been getting lots of excited emails from total strangers with messages like: “My Misty is going to win everything, so just wondering what prizes we’ll be taking home?” and “You should stop encouraging people to enter, cuz they really don’t stand a chance against my dog.”

That’s exactly the spirit I was going for,” Koric said.

The unseasonably cold weather may throw a wrench in the works, but nothing good old-fashioned labouring can’t fix.

Koric said: “I’m freaking out a little bit right now because our venue is still under two feet of snow, so we’re going to have a shoveling party over the long weekend to try to help nature along.”

On that note, Koric is still in need of a bigger volunteer force.

“I could also definitely use some more volunteers,” she said, “All the vollies I have right now have dogs registered in the show, and I want them to be able to enjoy being with their animals during the event.”

Koric is convinced this is the right time and place to fundraise for the Trail SPCA. “People might not realize, but some new, tougher, animal legisltation was just passed in BC and it could lead to mushers and other dog owners surrendering pets they couldn’t be bothered to care for according to the new guidelines,” she said.

She feels that accusations levelled by the B.C. Animal Advocates Society — for example that the SPCA euthanizes more animals than truly necessary — are unfounded, at least in the case of Trail’s SPCA.

Animal Advocates is currently in a protracted legal battle with the SPCA in which Animal Advocates has been accused of libel.

“Our Trail shelter does an amazing job,” Koric said. “It has one of the best records in the province for not putting animals down, and often takes in overflows from distant shelters.”

“The Kootenays are an amazing place to raise a dog,” she continued, “ and we have animals coming here from all over Canada to be adopted. As loving dog-owners, we need to do what we can for those unlucky dogs still searching for homes like ours.”