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Zeus, left, glances at the crowd as Jamie Lee Poythress looks at the “Best in Show” winner of the 12th annual Southside Doggie Fashion Show & Luncheon at the Golden Leaf Commons.

Move over Tyra Banks “next top model” and make room for Southside Virginia Doggie Fashion Show. The Doggie Fashion Show and luncheon is the premier fundraiser for the Emporia Greensville Humane Society and this marks its 15-year anniversary. 

The Humane Society has protected and served animals in the Emporia community since 2004. It began with Peggy Malone founder and president seeing a need for the animals in the community to be rescued and given forever homes. The Humane Society is a no kill shelter lowering the number of animals being euthanized. 

It is a nonprofit animal welfare organization that provides a safe environment for the lost, abandoned and homeless animals of the Emporia community including Brunswick, Sussex, Lawrenceville, Stony Creek, Petersburg and Virginia Beach. The EGHS strives to promote humane and responsible treatment of animals, unite lost pets with their families and find loving homes for the animals in their care. Businesses and individuals made monetary contributions to the event while others were volunteers and gave up their time and talent. A special thanks was given to all of them and was listed in the program. The monies raised by the event will go directly to programs at the Humane Society including rescue, adoption, veterinary care, spay-neuter services and others. “I have been a volunteer with the humane society for 12 years. I grew up on a farm and just have a love for animals.” Said Wendy Wright a volunteer of the humane society.

The event is great fun for all, from the junior volunteers to the pets and parents. The dogs were judged in three categories (small, medium and large breed). This year’s judges were Lucy Metcalf, Kathleen Summers, Michelle Welch and Babs Zuhowski.

Let’s begin with the winner from the small breed. Congratulations to Twinkie Harrell who was  accompanied by Matox Allen. Twinkie is a 13 year-old rescued min pin/schnauzer mix and weighs eight pounds. She loves her mommy and bath time. Twinkle was in disguise as a loofa sponge and wore it well down the runway. But it wasn’t just the little cute dogs showing off their best costumes. The winner of the medium breed was dressed as an adventurist ready to explore the world. He work a denim shirt and shorts with a nap sack on his back. But not without his mommy and best friend Nancy Watson.

Chevy is a Beagle, approximately 5 years of age weighing 20 pounds. Chevy was found by the side of the road with injury to his back foot. It had been caught in an animal trap. One couldn’t tell there was ever an injury the way he owned the runway. Zeus Poythress owned by Jamie Poythress won Best In Show. Zeus is a true champion, He is a Harlequim great dane, he is nine months old and weighs 132 pounds. Zeus maybe young but he is a professional at posing for pictures. Zeus had polo wraps on his legs to disguise himself as a horse. And his mommy was dressed up as a jockey. Zeus loved the attention from the crowd who wasn’t sure if he was truly a puppy or a miniature horse.  He also has two older siblings a yorkie and maltese that he loves to play with. Rosemary Prince and granddaughters have been volunteers for the humane society for approximately five years.

“We love animals and felt this would be a great way to help save, protect and support the animals.” said Prince.

Rescued dogs also walked the runway and were available for adoption.

 A silent auction was conducted. The item on display was a seiko pulsar quartz pearl face ladies watch from Watkins Jewelers. Which had successful bids and was awarded. In addition, several door prizes were given away that were donated by supporters of the Humane Society. Everyone that participated was a winner and walked away with a special gift from the Humane Society. It is scientifically proven that spending time with animals helps lower your stress levels and blood pressure.