The (dog) show must go on in Wellington

The Wellington Pet Dog Show will return to Centennial Park for its fifth year on June 16, thanks to the efforts of Wellington Mayor Travis Vieira and Main Street Market manager John Leeb.

The show’s founder Chuck Mayhugh began looking for someone to take over responsibility for the event in January. In February, Main Street stepped up as the major sponsor, but just weeks later the owner of the market, Panhandle Co-op of Scottsbluff, Neb., announced it would be closing by May 18. That left the dog show on a very short leash.

“John and I felt it was important to keep the event in Wellington,” Vieira said. “We were ready to spearhead the effort, to put together the committees and volunteers needed to make it happen.”

So the two used their own money to buy the nonprofit Mountain West Pet Shows Inc. from Mayhugh, who retains a seat on the organization’s volunteer board. Then they started fundraising and soliciting sponsorships for the free, family-oriented event.

“It’s a whole heck of a lot of work to put on the show,” Vieira added. “Our volunteers are working to make this another successful event for our community and the participants.”

In addition to ribbons and trophies for the pet dogs of all shapes, sizes and ages, the 2012 show will once again feature demonstrations and information from nonprofit canine breed rescue groups and organizations such as Animal House and the Larimer County Humane Society. Last year, more than 90 percent of the funds raised through vendor booth sales, tax-deductible donations and sponsorships were distributed to the groups to support adoption of rescued animals.

This year’s show starts at 9 a.m. The Boy Scouts will be selling breakfast burritos, the senior center will have coffee and cookies available, and the Boys and Girls Clubs will offer popcorn and soft drinks throughout the event, which ends at 1 p.m. The organizations will keep all proceeds from the sales.

“This is a really community event, and we’re glad we could keep it in our town,” Vieira said. “We’re looking forward to working with our sponsors to make it a rewarding show.”

For more information, contact Vieira at 970-412-1502 or by email at Donations can be made to Wellington Pet Dog Show (or Mountain West Pet Shows Inc.), P.O. Box 1287, Wellington, CO 80549.

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