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Matox Allen and his English Bulldog Rose walk the aisle for the audience at last year’s Southside Virginia Doggie Fashion Show and Contest at Golden Leaf Commons. The duo was selected Overall winner by the judges.

When Elvis impersonator Matox Allen and his English Bulldog Rose went back on stage to collect their trophy for “Best in Show” in May, the 10th annual Southside Doggie Fashion Show and Luncheon was in the books and the audience went home smiling about the event they had seen and the knowledge all the proceeds raised were going to the Emporia-Greensville Humane Society.

Nearly a year has passed and event organizers are already preparing for the 11th annual Southside Doggie Fashion Show and Luncheon, which will be held from Noon to 3 p.m., Saturday May 18 at the Golden Leaf Commons. Registration is already underway.

The categories are Toy Breed, Medium Breed and Large Breed. Only 10 dogs will be registered in each category. For registration form information, call (434) 634-3296. The registration fee is $15.

The Emporia-Greensville Humane Society has been an integral part of the community since its founding in 2004, when a group of volunteers assisted the City and County animal shelters. Within a few years organizers raised funds to build a 4,000 square-foot state of the art facility to house and care for animals, which includes veterinary care space, overnight accommodations for pets in need, an isolation room and separate care facilities for dogs and cats.

To keep the facility operating takes money, and the top fundraiser for the Emporia-Greensville Humane Society is the annual Southside Virginia Doggie Fashion Show and Luncheon.

“We operate 100 percent from donations,” Emporia-Greensville Humane Society President Peggy Malone said. “We provide a warm and loving environment for all the cats and dogs we fostered. When we accept an animal we keep this animal until we find a loving home for it.”

The prep work by the volunteers has helped the event grow each year. Come show time, some of the contestants, owners and pets, are veterans of the Southside Virginia Doggie Fashion Show and Luncheon. A few others are first-timers.

A $150 cash prize, free dog food from Science Diet and other prizes will go to the winners of the three categories, as well as a $100 cash prize and $75 gift basket for Best in Personality, Best in Costume and Most Like Owner. This year’s overall Best in Show winner will be awarded a $500 cash prize, free dog food from Science Diet, a free one-year subscription to Dog Fancy Magazine, a $100 goody basket, an 8x10 photograph from Clements Mayes Photography and a Petsense doggie goody basket.

The success of the show has been a big part of the success of the Humane Society. When the first Southside Virginia Doggie Fashion Show was held in 2010, Malone was not sure what to expect.

“When we started it I hoped it would do well and I thought it would,” Malone said. “It keeps growing every year and I’m truly ecstatic with how it has grown and the support we have received. I want to thank all of the people that have supported us—businesses, volunteers and contestants. The combination of everything has been great.”

The success of the show has been beneficial in raising funds for the Emporia-Greensville Humane Society, but its the hard work of volunteers and Malone that has kept the doors open for more than a decade.

The future of the Emporia-Greensville Humane Society is dependent donations from the community.

Last week the Emporia-Greensville Humane Society hosted one of its two Boston Butt Fundraisers it has each year. Mike Shearin began slow-cooking the pork around 4 a.m. The next event in line is the 11th annual Southside Virginia Doggie Fashion Show.

It will be a day for the dogs, but the benefits reaped will be for the dogs and cats housed at the Humane Society until they find a home.