When 8-year-old Olivia Pierce was told recently by her mother that her mixed-breed dog, Princeton, could not be entered in the Westminster Dog Show, she decided people need to realize that a dog doesn’t have to be a purebred to be special. So she organized the Mutt-Minster Dog Show, a competition which would raise funds for the Carthage Humane Society in southwest Missouri.
The Mutt-Minster Dog Show was an overwhelming success when it debuted on Saturday at a Carthage park. The $1,200 raised to help homeless animals far surpassed Olivia’s modest $300 goal, reports the Joplin Globe. Keegan Pierce, Olivia’s mother says donations came from a mix of corporate sponsors and competition entries.
Nearly 30 mixed-breed dogs, with their owners, competed for the Best-in-Show title. Each of the dogs was categorized based on size and trotted around the center of the park for the judges to inspect. A Boxer-Schnauzer mix, named Callie, took the top-dog honor.
Callie’s owner, Lauren Weiss of Joplin, said, “The great thing about today was that so many dogs that either came off of the street or out of a shelter were being celebrated,” Weiss said. “We were cheering on each other, and we wanted the dogs to be the star of today.”
Carthage Humane Society Director Glenda Erwin said that this was the biggest donation she had ever received from a fundraiser someone else organized. “This was all Olivia’s idea, Erwin said. “She ran with it, and we are grateful that she did. It is an amazing outpouring of community support that we saw today.”
Olivia now plans to turn the Mutt-Minster Dog Show into an annual event. When she received the bucket full of donations for the humane society, she said, “I never thought we would get this many people here. I just wanted to have other people see dogs the same way that I do--to know that they are all special in some way.”
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We think Olivia also deserves recognition for being as special as she is!
Source: The Joplin (Mo.) Globe