Arriving at the Linda McNatt Animal Care & Adoption Center this past Saturday, a sign titled “FOLLOW THE PAW PRINTS TO THE FASHION SHOW” sat in front of the shelter. After following the paw prints drawn with chalk on the parking lot, the entrance for the Best in (Fashion) Show all-ages benefit event was found.
The Best in (Fashion) Show combined previous and currently adoptable dogs with fashion created by UNT fashion designers. The dogs and a cat from the Denton Animal Shelter walked down the red-carpeted runway with models adorned in stylish clothing.
Because the event was sponsored by TripHound, Susie’s Scrumptious Snacks and Twisted Bodies Pilates and Yoga, each $8 ticket went entirely to the Denton Animal Shelter’s emergency medical fund, which allows animals who arrive to the shelter in severe medical conditions to be treated.
The Best in (Fashion) Show included raffles for items such as wine, dog treats and flowers. Free refreshments and snacks were also provided.
The doors opened at 6 p.m. and the event started at 7 p.m. Attendees lined the red-carpeted runway, excitedly waiting for the show to begin. The animals were either carried or walked down the runway leashed with the model as the announcer told the audience who was sporting the designs, the name of the model and animal, and whether the animal was adoptable or a recipient of the emergency care fun.
Animal Services Officer Francis Ferguson, 24, was an instrumental part in instructing the models how to walk the runway with the animals before the show started.
“Your whole point is to show off what you’re doing,” Ferguson said. “The more time the dogs give you by interacting with the crowd, the better for you. If they start to stop, take a turn, take a bow. If they start to lick with someone or really connect with somebody, take your time. Just take as much time as you want.”
UNT print digital junior Victoria “Tori” Falcon, 20, found the event through Facebook and attended.
“It was just so cute,” Falcon said. “I would react to the dogs first, and then I would actually see the fashion and be like, ‘Oh that’s beautiful.’ It was cool, they probably brought people out because of the animals, but then people were actually able to see the fashion and get exposure on that, so it was really nice. It was a nice pairing.”
Falcon said she also enjoyed the benefits the show brought to the shelter.
“I hope this is able to raise awareness for the dogs and also help get exposure for the fashion,” Falcon said.
Most of the dogs who walked down the runway were happy to give the people sitting close enough kisses. One dog decided the model life was not for him and decided to relieve himself just off the red carpet.
One of the Animal Control officers, David Conway, 29, had his own dog — an 8-month old Golden Retriever mix named Tub Tubs — in the show.
“I was a little bit proud,” Conway said. “I was a little anxious because my baby may have tried to run off and lick somebody’s face in the audience or [make] a mess on the field like the other dog did.”
The Best in (Fashion) Show was an enormous success with more than 150 tickets sold. Before the show, the shelter was at nearly $1,500 in profit for the emergency medical care fund. With the show’s proceeds, along with donations, the shelter is expected to have more than that $1,500 in profit.
The organizer of the event and Animal Services Officer Nicole Lopez was happy to see Best in (Fashion) Show go well for the sake of raising money for the emergency medical care fund.
“We’ve had a cat [brought in by a citizen] within the past week [and] we’ve had to use money from the fund because he was hit by a vehicle,” Lopez said. “We were able to send him to the emergency room within the hour.”
Lopez said the cat was able to survive his injuries thanks to the emergency medical care fund.
“He went through emergency surgery that night and had one leg and his tail amputated,” Lopez said. “Then we were able to put him into a foster home and schedule his next surgeries, and he has made a full recovery. He will be able to have a long and happy life now.”
This was the first time the Linda McNatt Animal Care & Adoption Center hosted a fashion show fundraiser. It is planned to occur again next year.
“We’re very, very thankful to all of the UNT designers and all of the amazing people that came out here,” Ferguson said.
To help the Denton Animal Shelter, one can donate items, such as cat and dog food, towels, blankets, treats, toys, cleaning supplies, laundry detergent and bleach, by visiting the shelter directly.Read more at:QueenieAu | bridesmaid dresses