Fashionable Dogs For A Noble Cause

Hot dog! Oct. 14 is the date set for the Humane Society’s fundraiser.

Lauren Schulz, Staff Writer

Putting its best paw forward is what the Elkhart County Humane Society attempts to do each and every day for the hundreds of pets that come through its doors.

What can easily be considered a commonplace idea is that animal shelters, animal adoption agencies, and things of that nature require funds—and often a lot of them—to take care of running their operations. Whether they need it for bills and payments on the buildings they work in, the buying and delivering of necessary supplies, medical operations and medical-specific bills, etc., it’s a sure thing they need any money they can get. However, what generally is not commonplace, knowledge-wise, is some of the ways how these operations receive their much-needed funds.

The Humane Society of Elkhart County, one such of these organizations, performs an annual fundraiser—in fact, their biggest one yet—known as “Best in Show.”  Every year, ten groups of “celebrity” pets, and their owners, compete to be titled the “Best in Show.” The best part is, the pets are not limited to solely dog competitors; in fact, of the 17 pet competitors for the 2021 year, four of them are cats!

Whoever wins the title of “Best in Show” does so by receiving the most amount of votes between them and their fellow competitors. Each vote costs $1 to cast, and, according to the Humane Society of Elkhart County’s website, those who are interested in participating in this event/fundraiser can cast their vote well before it even starts.

However, during the event, when it comes time for it, it will be held on Oct. 14 in the Crystal Ballroom of the Lerner Theatre, and it will be “an exciting evening of auction items, wine pulls, dinner, and the showcase of our celebrities and their pets as they compete to be named Best in Show,” as stated by the HSEC’s website. Also on the website, the HSEC states that in the past year, a well-loved contributor, committee member, and friend to the organization–Jonathan Tuff–unfortunately passed away. So, for this year—and likely from now on, moving forward,—the fundraiser’s title has been change to honor Tuff, especially as he loved to help and support the HSEC and this particular event.

This year, there are 13 dog competitors and 4 cat competitors. The pet competitors and their owners and/or family are as follows:

  • Frisco, the three-year-old Husky, and their owners, Zach DuBois and Katy DuBois.
  • Brecken, of unspecified breed and age, and their owner Heather Jenks.
  • Tory, the one-year-old Bernedoodle, and their owners, Meghan Wegner and Jon Wegner.
  • Tennessee Tuxedo, Chumley, Macky, and Little Turkey, all cats of unspecified breeds and ages, and their owner, Jill Dusthimer.
  • Pearl, the three-month-old Newfoundland, and their owners, Cody Troeger and Tomeka Jones.
  • Denver, the three-month-old Labrador, and their owners, Jonathan Gust and Cassidy Gust.
  • Sir Samuel Loshbough, the two-and-a-half-year-old Shar Pei, and their owners, Jim McDowell-Loshbough and Carol McDowell-Loshbough.
  • Chase and Teddy, the two five-year-old Cockapoos, and their owner, Kip Ellis and Angie Ellis.
  • Toby, the three-year-old Double Doodle (meaning that their mother was a Goldendoodle, and their dad was a Labradoodle), and their owners, Mike Krempec and Jamie Krempec.
  • Cali, the six-year-old Labrador and Collie mix, and their owners, Pat Russell and Ginny Russell.
  • Scout, the five-year-old unspecified breed, and Lacy and Pippa, the four-year-old Goldendoodles, and their owners, Scott Evans and Brooke Evans.
  • And finally, Patrick Krol, the one-year-old Rottweiler, and their owners, the Krol family—Mark, Stephanie, Max, and Grace.