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Pawesome time at Huntsville's first Pup Palooza

Greater Huntsville Humane Society showcase proves every dog really does have its day.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Whether you're a dog person or not, there's no denying the joy dogs bring to people all over the world. That was put on full display Sunday at the Orion Amphitheater in the MidCity district, where hundreds of people and their four-legged family members were in attendance for one howl of a showcase.

Greater Huntsville Humane Society's inaugural Pup Palooza is part parade, part dog show, and all-round good time for a cause.

"Our goal today is to raise $7,000 - either in person or online or through PayPal, and all $7,000 is going to go back to the revamp of our indoor dog kennels," said GHHS marketing director Rochelle Sexton.

A refurbishment is something the Humane Society says their facility is in dire need of. Like most shelters and rescues, they're at full capacity. 

But beyond the needs of the shelter, Pup Palooza was just about letting every dog have its day.

"It's a great day; beautiful weather to get out and just be a dog," Sexton noted.

Some of the business owners in attendance, such as Laural Shockley, owner of Underdog Bakery, shared their love for all things canine. 

"When I first started this business, I was almost shy to say, 'yes, I make baked goods for dogs,'" Shockley recalled. "But it was so warmly welcomed when we started doing it that it was like, 'I found my people,' because we love creating things that enhance a dog's life."

K8 Photo's Bear Stapley agreed. "Dogs are like angelic beings that have come down to help us through our passage in this life," Stapley said. "Unfortunately, we don't get to keep them for very long because they give so much of themselves. I'm just happy to spend any time I can with dogs." 

Elizabeth Phangnivong, of For the Love of Frenchies, LLC, said its heartbreaking to see how many animals are mistreated. "And so that's why we started [the organization]," she said, "because we love our dogs just like they're people. They're our fur babies."

The celebration of all things canine included a costume contest, where dog owners were encouraged to dress their dogs up as their favorite musicians.

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