Contact: Joe Vargo, Perris Public Information Officer
Phone: 951-956-2120

Dogs Have Their Day at Annual Strut Your Mutt Event

Participants in Saturday’s “Strut Your Mutt” and “Bark for Life” in Perris put their pooches through the paces at Perris’ Paragon Park
Participants in Saturday's "Strut Your Mutt" and "Bark for Life" in Perris put their pooches through the paces at Perris' Paragon Park.

The people who came to the City of Perris' annual "Strut Your Mutt" at Paragon Park to license, vaccinate and show off their pooches found that for a few hours Saturday, they were in doggie heaven.

"We are definitely barking up the right tree!" said Perris City Councilman Mark Yarbrough, who brought his American bulldog, Champ, to get licensed and vaccinated. "This is a great event, the kind of event that emphasizes quality-of-life issues. This is the sort of event the City does not have to put on but one that we choose to and one that we are committed to."

More than 150 dog owners and their pets came to Paragon Park for the day of festivities. Events included best tail-wagger, doggie-owner look-alike contest, best dressed-dog, best runner and best mutt in strut. Prospective pet owners could also adopt rescue dogs.

Among the participants were Jacen Parker, 3, and his dog, Coco
Among the participants were Jacen Parker, 3, and his dog, Coco.

This year, the American Cancer Society once again teamed up with the City on the "Bark for Life" portion of the mutt strut.
Ray Cisneros, who is in charge of Perris' Relay for Life said American Cancer Society participation doubled from last year. About 50 group volunteers strutted in support of those fighting cancer or who died from the disease. The cancer society also distributed information about research and treatment programs.

"We had a great event," Cisneros said. "Thank you to the City of Perris for supporting us. Their support has been fantastic and we are most grateful."

Jessica Parker brought her son, Jacen, 3, to take part in the Bark for Life and Strut Your Mutt event. The little guy came with the family dog, Coco, a Chihuahua mix.

"I think this is great," Jessica Parker said. "The dogs get together,
interact and win prizes. It's awesome to bring all these dogs together."

Tara McCraney with the dog she adopted at Saturday’s event, Stud Muffin, a Chihuahua-beagle mix
Tara McCraney with the dog she adopted at Saturday's event, Stud Muffin, a Chihuahua-beagle mix.

Taja McCraney adopted a dog during Strut Your Mutt 2012—a Chihuahua-beagle mix she named "Stud Muffin."

"It's fun to see how much the dogs look like their owners," she said.

Renee Guerena and Lorraine Soto enjoyed the outing with their dogs but said they came for a more serious reason—supporting cancer research and treatment. Both women came out Saturday in memory of "Grandma" Sally Soto, who lost a battle with bone cancer. Both said it was important to keep the memory of their friend alive while supporting the American Cancer Society.

Soto came to Perris from La Puente to take part in the Bark for Life and Strut Your Mutt. She brought Suzie, her black Labrador, along for the ride.

"It's important to show support to the victims of cancer as they fight this terrible disease and to their families," said Soto, the daughter-in-law of "Grandma" Sally Soto. "I think the City of Perris is remarkable for supporting this kind of event. They hold a lot of events that help all sorts of people."