Everyone knows that the UM community loves to show off its dogs on campus, and that was obvious last Wednesday at UM’s first dog show, as part of “Two Days of Paws and Claw” put on by the Pre-Vet Society.
There was a dragon pekingese with construction paper wings, a friendly hula girl rottweiler, UM puppies in athletic shirts and many others in between.
After a year of preparation, the Pre-Vet Society put on the event in support of the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), a rescue and rehabilitation facility for animals, which is in the process of losing its Miami Lakes land. UM President Donna Shalala and Sebastian the Ibis served as judges for first, second and third place, while the audience chose superlatives such as Most Energetic. All participants left with a bag of treats.
Jessica Ramirez, senior and Pre-Vet Society president, came up with the idea to help the animals at the SPCA one day last spring. Since then, the members of the organization have volunteered at the Convocation Center, run car washes and worked hours at rescue centers to raise funds.
Senior Kirah Rahill, Pre-Vet Society vice president, said the event was important “first as a way to help animals in need and also as a way to raise awareness on animal rights.” They promoted the dog show by putting up flyers, banners and spreading news of it through word of mouth. In fact, many people said they heard of the event by being approached as they walked their dogs around campus.
Kalea was brought to the competition by her owner Julia Beverly, senior. Beverly said wanted to adopt a puppy and said that her family always went to shelters when looking to find one. Ashley Beecher, junior, found her dog Britta, a black and white mixed breed, while volunteering at Sabbath Memorial Rescue center, a no kill rescue center by her house. They came as a cow and cowgirl.
The event attracted a number of onlookers, like dog owner Aj Sarcione, who was passing by with his puppy Jada and non-dog owners like freshman Paige Feigenbaum, who heard about the event from people on her floor painting banners.
Members of the Pre-Vet Society hope to make the dog show an annual event on campus. For more information, email UM_PreVet@hotmail.com.
Candice Castaneda can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.