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Mutt Show celebrates dogs of all kinds

COVINGTON -- Dogs of all breeds, sizes and talents are invited to participate in the annual Mutt Show on Saturday, Oct. 8.

Sponsored by the Humane Society of Newton County and Newton County Animal Control, the popular, somewhat tongue-in-cheek dog show will honor pets in several categories this year, including Most Beautiful; Most Handsome; Best Trick; Best Dressed; Look-Alike, a competition for dog and owner; Best Kisser; and Most Obedient. Ribbons will be awarded for first, second and third place winners in each category. Registration gets under way at 9 a.m. and judging begins at 10 a.m. on the Square in downtown Covington.

Registration is free but donations to the Humane Society are appreciated.

Dogs should be under control of the owner at all times and must be at least 6 months old to participate and have proof of rabies vaccination.

The Mutt Show has been a popular downtown event for the past decade.

"I think it's popular because people love dogs, or most people do," said Humane Society Chair Betty Bellairs. "Even people who don't have dogs come because it's fun to watch the dogs in the show."

Following the Mutt Show, a new tradition, the Blessing of the Animals, will take place on the Square. All pets are welcome at this event, which will be led by Dr. Douglas Gilreath, senior pastor of First United Methodist Church, and Rev. Jan McCoy, associate minister of the church.

The Blessing of the Animals took place for the first time last year.

"Last year only dogs came. We felt like people connected it with the Mutt Show and felt that's all that was eligible. Any pets are eligible as long as they are on leashes or in carriers," Bellairs said.