San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Annual Canine Festival Honors Mixed Breeds

THE National Animal Protection Association’s(ANPA) eighth annual canine festival at Roosevelt Plaza onMarch 6 was just that, as dozens of dogs and their ownersjoined in for a day of games, contests and a show of doggydoings.Although ANPA’s goal is to promote the care and adoptionof zaguates (mixed-breed dogs), a good number ofhuskies, cockers, shepherds and others of “pure blood”came to celebrate with their humbler cousins.An army of approximately 100 volunteers helped outamong tangled leashes to ensure all went smoothly. Therewere booths offering dog clothes and hats, pet products, T-shirtsbearing ANPA’s slogan “No sea racista, adopte unzaguate” (“Don’t be racist; adopt a mixed-breed dog”) inall colors, a (oops) flea market, baskets and other dog furniture,rubber bone toys and, of course, food, including(oops) hot dogs.THE flyball and obstacle-course demonstrationsproved a rescued mixed breed such as Zoe can competeas well as border collies and rottweilers in the brainsdepartment. In other competitions, the smallest-dog trophywent to a Barbie-sized shorthair named Ken, thelargest-dog trophy to a horse-sized Pyrenean mixed withsomething equally big.The talent contest drew only one aspirant. Nobody elsecould bark sums and roll over on cue. The fashion showhad dogs strutting across the stage in ballet dress, scout uniform,safari outfit, Red Riding Hood cape and a Saprissa T-shirt.One dog even wore a wig to go with a flouncy gown.The owner-pet look-alike parade showed the sameingenuity. A slinky black outfit to match a slinky blackdachshund, identical print dresses and matching blue sweatsuits were part of the parade. The program ended with thecrowning of King Raúl and Queen Camilla, who receivedtrophies with dog statuettes and bags of dog food as prizes.BUT the main attraction of the day was the corralwhere healthy, spayed dogs from ANPA’s adoption centerwere offered for adoption. Thirteen lucky dogs went to realhomes and families.Although ANPA no longer accepts unwanted dogs andcats, it has approximately 40 spayed and vaccinated petsavailable at its adoption center in Coronado, northeast ofSan José, and the adoption house in the northeastern suburbof Guadalupe (400 meters south of the church, left-handside – you can’t miss it). ANPA works to educate thepublic in responsible pet care and operates communityspaying clinics around the country.For information on adoptions, spaying clinics, how tohelp or to buy an ANPAT-shirt, call 255-3757 or 233-0779..

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