Freshmen host dog costume contest for local shelter

As Halloween draws closer, different costume contests are happening around campus. However, there is only one where the prizes are new friends needing homes.

The Student Government Association’s Freshman Forum is hosting their first Puppy Pageant, where students can vote for their favorite costumed canines, who will be available to adopt after the show.

The show is set for Oct. 26 from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Memorial Amphitheater.

Beside potential adoptions, the event also serves as a fundraiser for the new Florence-Lauderdale Animal Shelter.

The voting system for favorite dog will consist of donating one dollar per vote in an assigned jar.

“All of the money from votes will be donated to the animal shelter, and you could even make one of these dogs the newest addition to your own family,” said freshman Trey Smith, delegate of SGA Freshman Forum Service Committee.

During the event, a volunteer will stay with each dog to make sure it gets exercise.

“The dogs need to be walked around during an event,” said Cheryl Jones, animal control officer and volunteer coordinator. “If the dogs are out, it’s better for them.”

Freshman Forum has provided enough volunteers for twenty dogs to participate.

“For the dogs, we require an adoption application,” Jones said, “We also consider the individual’s history, where the dog will be spending their days and nights and what type of housing will be provided. We just match people up (with) the animal that will work for them.”

Sophomore Krystal Moore said she thinks the pageant is a great event to have, but it might work better geared toward other people besides students.

“I think that maybe reaching out to individuals beyond the student body would be more beneficial because college students are more likely to not be available to adopt an animal from the shelter at the end of the event,” Moore said.

Senior Joseph Isom said those who have adopted rescued animals can appreciate the value and service of shelters.

“Rescued dogs are the kindest (and) most loyal, and even healthier than their bred counterparts,” he said. “Every college student should adopt a dog.”

Construction on the new shelter will begin Nov. 1 at Florence Industrial Park.

Shelter Director Leah Fox said the new shelter will be able to hold 20 percent more animals than the original.

Animals at the shelter’s current location will dress up for Halloween October 31. The shelter will also be attending a Halloween event at Highland Baptist Church October 28.

To contact the shelter, call 256-760-6676.