July 4, 2009

Hound Dog Homecoming King and Queen

COLUMBIA — With tiaras on their heads, a trophy in their owners' hands and a gift basket for later, Lola and Rocco received perks galore for being crowned Hound Dog Homecoming queen and king Sunday afternoon.

The crowning ceremony was one of the highlights of the Central Missouri Humane Society fundraiser, which brought Columbia pet lovers together to enjoy an afternoon of carnival events.

The third annual Hound Dog Homecoming included a doggy kissing booth, musical sit, dog paw painting and a duck pond.

Throughout the fundraiser, participants also entered their pets in various contests, including best dressed, biggest shedder, most unique and best trick.

The winner of each contest was determined by local celebrity judges Lauren Whitney from KOMU; Paul Pepper and James Mouser from "Pepper & Friends"; and Amanda Huhman and Libby Burkes, who helped the shelter win the Zootoo contest in April.

The homecoming queen and king contest required more work from the dogs' owners. For this competition, contestants worked from May 1 to this past Friday to raise money for the shelter. Whoever earned the most money would have their dogs deemed queen and king.

Patty Forister, executive director of the Central Missouri Humane Society, said competitors did everything from soliciting on Facebook to using fake smear campaigns against the other dogs in the competition.

All of the homecoming queen and king competitors earned a combined $4,076 for the Humane Society, which doesn’t include the amount the shelter made at Sunday's event. Organizers are still tabulating the final fundraising total.

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