Once again, hundreds of dogs and their two-legged friends descended upon downtown Waynesville during Sarge's eighth annual Downtown Dog Walk Saturday, Aug. 3.
Of course, when that many dogs get together, something fun is bound to happen, and this year seemed to be no exception.
"The community really comes together for Sarge's and supports the work we do, and it's great to see how many people came out to support that cause," said Doyle Teague, walk organizer.
The event was a resounding success with participants raising almost $23,000 for Sarge's Animal Rescue Foundation. The walk is the nonprofit's largest fundraiser, and every dollar donated goes toward saving dogs and cats and finding them new homes.
"The dog walk was a great success this year. We appreciate everyone who sponsored or participated, Haywood County for letting us use the lawn, and the Waynesville Police Department for keeping all the folks and dogs safe while they were on the streets," Teague said.
Leading the walk were top fundraisers Nancy Bulluck, who brought in $475, and Sophia Humpidge, who raised $575 for the cause. The two women carried the Sarge's banner and led an enthusiastic crowd of canines and their people along a route through downtown Waynesville.
The parade of pooches ended in front of the Historic Courthouse on Main Street, where the event continued with music from Jeanne Naber of Songbug DJ Services and several contests, including best trick, best tail wagger, best dressed and owner/dog look alike. Judges Rex and Deborah Hodge, Eddie Foxx and Sharon Green had a tough time choosing between all of the talented and stylish dogs who showed up at the walk, but every dog was a crowd pleaser.
First place in the best dressed category were Marlene with her dog YiElla and second place were Nina Dove with Penny Lane. Rick and his dog Andy won first place in best trick with Lisa and her dog Julep coming in second. In the lookalike competition "Batman" took first with his dog Amelia, and Cindy took second place with Coco. Last but not least, Phillip and his dog Riley took first place in the tail waggin' contest.
"This is one of the most unique events in Waynesville every year. The variety of dogs, from poodles to pitbulls and everything in between, always amazes me, and the fact that they all seem to get along is remarkable," Teague said of the walk.
For information about Sarge's, call 246-9050 or visit the website at www.sargeandfriends.org.