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Mutt Strutt raises money for local animal shelter

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Mutt Strutt raises money for local animal shelter


A dog poses as the Statue of Liberty April 20 at Mutt Strutt in Plaza Park.



Photo By Laura Figi

A dog poses as the Statue of Liberty April 20 at Mutt Strutt in Plaza Park.
Photo By Laura Figi

A dog poses as the Statue of Liberty April 20 at Mutt Strutt in Plaza Park.
Photo By Laura Figi

A dog poses as the Statue of Liberty April 20 at Mutt Strutt in Plaza Park.
Photo By Laura Figi

Laura Figi

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The Mutt Strutt is the one day of the year every dog can have his day. The event has been a San Marcos staple for 15 years and serves as one of the biggest charity events for the San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter.

Plaza Park was filled with dogs and humans alike from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 20, in celebration of the annual event. The main attraction was a one-mile walk along the river with attendees’ respective dogs. All registered visitors received a T-shirt and goodie bag.

The Mutt Strutt was founded by Donna Bellion and Trish Thompson after discovering no other charity organizations gave 100% of its proceeds to the shelter. The Mutt Strutt donates all proceeds to the shelter, and many of the volunteers use their own money to help fund the events.

Thompson, professional dog groomer, said it is very important to her that dogs are kept off the streets to reduce the stray population.

“It starts at home,” Thompson said. “There’s not enough money. Everyone thinks there’s a home for everything (at the shelter), but there’s not.”

This year’s Mutt Strutt was dedicated to Mark Brinkley, former director of the San Marcos Animal Shelter. Brinkley passed away May 2018 after working for city environmental services for 30 years.

Erin McCann, the shelter supervisor, said Mutt Strutt raises more money than any other event for the shelter and in 2018, raised over $10,000, a record high. The money is crucial in providing dogs with discount spaying and neutering, heart worm treatments and upgrade kennels.

“It is so important for the shelter animals,” McCann said. “(The money raised) lifts a huge burden off our shoulders.”

There were several vendors, a silent auction, free donuts, a station to bathe dogs and contests, which included best look-a-like and best costume anyone could participate in. There was a live music performance by Deann René.

Some Mutt Strutt volunteers entered the contests with adoptable dogs from the shelter to showcase their talents.

Jazmin Crookes, winner of the best trick contest, said she works with her bulldog, Myrtle, everyday to achieve award-winning results.

“Seeing everybody actually adopting dogs here makes me so happy,” Crookes said. “That’s my favorite thing about this event.”

Thompson’s colleagues awarded her a charm for her bracelet to celebrate hosting the Mutt Strutt for 15 years. She believes Mutt Strutt is different and unlike any other charity event because it helps educate on top of raising funds.

“(Mutt Strutt) raises awareness about the importance of spaying, neutering (and) microchipping, and any of the stuff that will help keep your pets home and bring them back home,” Thompson said.

The shelter is accepting volunteers; all that is required is the completion of an hour-long training. More information on next year’s Mutt Strutt and how to volunteer can be found on its website: muttstrutt.org.

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Mutt Strutt raises money for local animal shelter