Updated 09/29/2012 02:11 PM
Dog Owners Strut Their Mutts On West Side
Saturday's Strut Your Mutt event on the West Side featured a walk, activities and shopping, with all funds raised going toward animal rescue groups connected to the Best Friends Animal Society. NY1's Amanda Farinacci filed the following report.
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
Tails wagging, tongues shaking and voices barking, thousands of dogs made their way down the West Side Saturday morning in the third annual Strut Your Mutt walk.
"There's nothing else like it," said dog owner Bob Shaughnessy. "Even getting up on a Saturday morning or Sunday morning, whatever it is, it's great."
The nearly two-mile walk was the main attraction of an event sponsored by NY1's parent company, Time Warner Cable, and the Best Friends Animal Society, which runs the nation's largest sanctuary for abused and abandoned animals.
"Our goal is to create a day when there are no more homeless pets and that's not just animal abandonment," said Jamie Ruben of the Best Friends Animal Society. "That's a terrible problem. Owner retention, people having trouble, needing help with some issues, training or housing issues. But it's also spay and neuter is a huge, huge issue."
After the walk, there were dozens of giveaway booths featuring doggie treats and services and then contests, including a best dancer contest and a best kisser contest.
NY1's Roger Clark was a judge and participant in the smooch-fest. So what are his criteria for a good dog kiss?
"Mushy," he said. "Like a lot of wetness, right, probably is always good with a kiss, like you want, cause there's more of a challenge there. And maybe a little hug in there somewhere."
The event drew some 2,000 dogs and their owners and raised more than $250,000 for abandoned and rescue dogs in the five boroughs.
"We bring in rescue dogs and sort of find homes for them," said dog owner Andrew Cornicello.
"All dogs need a second chance, of course," said dog owner Natalie Molina.
The dogs were also offered free training and agility exercises. While some seemed happy to enjoy those activities, many seemed just as happy to lay down and take it all in.