Krewe of Mutts takes annual pet event to the streets

Pooches on parade

The Mystic Krewe of Mutts parade is more than dogs in costumes.

“People think it’s just a parade, but it’s six hours of fun, things to do and contests,” organizer Freda Yarbrough Dunne said.

Bark in the Park begins before the parade and continues until 4 p.m. with vendors, food and drinks, shopping, activities and contests.

“It’s a good Sunday afternoon in the park,” Dunne said.

The parade is a 15-year tradition and the Capital Area Animal Welfare Society took it over in 2006.

CAAWS is an all-volunteer organization committed to promoting spay and neuter as well as facilitating animal adoptions.

Some dogs available for adoption will walk in the parade and volunteers will be on hand to begin the adoption process for prospective pet owners.

The theme this year is “Semper Fideaux,” honoring animals that serve in war and those that help service members after they come home.

Patriot Dogs and The Geaux Seven Chapter of Blue Sky Mothers of America will collect donations during the event.

Service members in uniform and their dogs can walk the parade for free. Anyone can register to be in the parade. The fee varies based on the number of humans and animals participating.

Floats are small but some are elaborately decorated.

“We have some golf carts. Most people make floats out of wagons or whatever pull carts they have,” Dunne said.

Raising Cane’s is the premier sponsor of the event and Cane II will serve as the grand marshal walking alongside the royal court. The court consists of dogs and a few cats. The felines are represented by photos carried by their owners. “You know cats. They don’t march,” Dunne said.

The festivities will also serve as the opening to CAAWS’ Mardi Gras Money Match. An anonymous donor has given $25,000 and will match the amount if CAAWS raises $5,000.

“It’s a good incentive for people to donate,” Dunne said.