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PLAY THAT PUGLY MUSIC: Puggerfest takes a trip back in time to save abandoned and abused pugs

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OKLAHOMA CITY — Ranked highly as one of the most adorable dog breeds in existence, one would think that the simple pug would be loved and protected by all that come in contact with them, but, sadly, even they aren’t immune to man’s cruelty.

Homeward Bound is a Norman, Oklahoma-based non-profit shelter with a mission of placing pugs that have been surrendered, abandoned, or abused into loving, caring forever homes. It’s a job that, sadly, seems to be getting harder and harder each year for the shelter, as displaced pug numbers continue to grow due to illegal breeding practices.

“Many pugs are in danger and we can bring in anywhere from 200 to 300 rescues a year, especially depending on if there are any puppy mill busts or anything like that,” Gail Tucker, Homeward Bound Director said. “They come from all sorts of situations, but especially puppy mills in the state of Oklahoma. Some are very abused; the puppy mills are very harsh and mean to them and they scare very easily, even scared to be touched. It can be sad sometimes.”

Many other pugs are often surrendered when owners realize that raising them can be costly as they are often prone to allergies and other sicknesses, or when people move and just plain abandon them, sometimes to fend for themselves. It’s a full-time operation from the heart that includes not only Oklahoma pugs, but ones in Kansas and Missouri as well.

“Homeward Bound will bring in the pugs, get them to a vet, update their shots and other medical needs and put them on the website, ready for adoption,” Tucker said. “It’s the reason we decided to start Puggerfest years ago, and now it’s grown into our biggest fundraiser of the year, bringing in money to pay off vet bills and other needs so that we can continue our work.”

The 14th Annual Puggerfest 2017 will take place on Saturday, October 7th at Lake Hefner’s Stars & Stripes Park. 7398 N. Portland, starting at 10 a.m. Tucker said it will be a “day full of peace, love and pugs” as this year’s theme is the “60s and 70s.” Adult admission is $5, while kids under five and all pugs are admitted free.

Contest events include Best Costume, Best Themed Costume and Best Group Costume. Other events include pug races, a silent auction, visits with “animal communicator” Naomi McDonald, the 7th annual coronation of the King and Queen of Puggerfest and a “special appearance” by the Village Puggers.

“It’s just a fun day. You can sit around and watch the pugs, you don’t have to do anything if you don’t want to,” Tucker added. “Believe it or not, there’s a huge amount of pug-loving people out there. Most of them that come, come because they have a pug, they want to adopt a pug from us and some just like to sit around and watch the fun. People who come out always enjoy themselves and take home fun memories. It all goes to a great cause and Puggerfest 2017 is going to be the best Puggerfest ever.”

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Louis Fowler

Güicho. Gadfly. Chicano. Choctaw. Cristero. Freelancer. Leftist. Activist. Vilified. PKD....

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Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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