This is the 15th year of Strut Your Mutt. It’s an annual event put on by Homer Animal Friends to benefit its spay and neuter program.
“We have numerous spay/neuter programs and you can get them at Barb’s Video—the coupons—and the Homer Vet Clinic," says Lynn Kee, president of HAF and chair of Strut Your Mutt. "We have cat clinics throughout the year, dog neuters throughout the year.”
Over the past few years, the spay and neuter program has fixed nearly 500 dogs and cats at a cost of about $40,000. While that’s the underlying reason for this event, Kee says it’s also a good opportunity for people to get active with their canine companions.
“It is a chance for the community to come out and bond with your dog, have a good time, and show off your dog—all the great stuff your dog can do—the games, the contests," says Kee.
The contests include 'Best dog kisses,' 'Musical sits' a la musical chairs, and 'Best tricks.' But those games aren’t for all dogs and their human counterparts. Some dog and owner pairs just come to hang out with other pet-lovers and take part in the more relaxed group dog walk.
Another feature of Strut Your Mutt is the adoption area. Dogs looking for ‘forever’ homes are in a pen. People can pet them, play with them and walk them around. Volunteers encourage potential adopters to really get to know the dogs they are interested in before adopting.
“Having a pet is a lifelong thing," says Kee. "They live 10, 15 years, sometimes even more. So, you have to think about what your life’s going to be like in those 10 to 15 years and making sure they’re in a safe and permanent home.”
That’s one of the messages that comes across loud and clear at Strut Your Mutt. Pets are great and they are family.