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Dogs on parade at Paws Fest - Dothan Eagle: News

Dogs on parade at Paws Fest

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Posted: Saturday, March 23, 2013 4:18 pm

Bubba, the white English bulldog, wore a red Santa Claus outfit complete with a white beard as he strolled down the sidewalk on the square in downtown Headland Saturday morning.

Andrea Shiphorst, of Headland, said the 2013 Paws Fest Pageant became the second pageant her dog has entered.

“We come every year to Paws Fest,” Shiphorst said. “He just gets so excited with everything. It’s a just a fun day.”

Shiphorst said she serves with Renaissance Headland, a group that works toward promoting downtown Headland.

“We’re so thrilled to have people come to the square and see what Headland has to offer,” Shiphorst said.

Marcella Miller, a volunteer with City of Headland Animal Rescue Mission, said Paws Fest is a fundraiser to help pay for the medical bills, feed and shelter improvements. Miller said for $20 people could enter their dog in the Paws Fest 2013 Pageant and Parade.

“We think there’s more people than last year, and more people are coming with their dogs,” Miller said.

Several pet-friendly vendors lined the outside of the square, including Hungry Hounds and More Natural Holistic Pet Foods and Maggie’s Munchies, fresh-made dog treats.

Jo Geisler, a board member for the nonprofit organization, said C.H.A.R.M. started in March 2010. Geisler said Saturday’s event became the sixth Paws Fest, but only the third one hosted by C.H.A.R.M. Geisler estimated 300 to 400 people attended the festival.

“We are pleased this many came out with the weather predictions we’ve had,” Geisler said. “People look forward to the pageant every year.”

Geisler said Headland has a seven-kennel shelter. They don’t charge an adoption fee, but she said they do take donations.

“We work directly with the Headland Animal Shelter with the dogs coming in from Headland animal control,” Geisler said. “We’re about trying to find good homes for these dogs at the Headland Animal Shelter. That’s the bottom line.”

Sam Morehead, of Headland, attended the festival with his fianceé, Nikki King, and their three Great Danes. Max, a 5-year-old blue Great Dane, wore a red and gray Kong sweatshirt Saturday morning as he walked over hurdles set up as part of the dog obstacle course.

“He’s a pretty smart dog,” Morehead said. “We’ve worked a lot with him at home.”

Morehead said they also have Chloe, a 3-year-old Harlequin Great Dane, who wore a pink tutu as she walked the sidewalk during the pageant.

Morehead said they also have Bella, a fawn Great Dane, who is a rescue dog.

“We’re here to show our support for C.H.A.R.M. and the city of Headland. It brings the community together,” Morehead said. “This is our third year coming. Regardless of the weather we show up. It’s the one time in the year we can show off our dogs. It’s good. It lets them socialize.”

How to help:

C.H.A.R.M. (City of Headland Animal Rescue Mission)

Call 334-693-9097

Go www.charmheadland.org