With their wrinkly skin, big jowls and floppy ears, basset hounds are often described as the clowns of the dog world. But recently, these adorable hounds strutted their stuff for a serious cause during the TriState Basset Hound Rescue BoardWaddle.
The BoardWaddle is a creative fundraiser first established in 1998. In 2016, more than 500 basset hounds descended on the boardwalk in Ocean City, New Jersey. While the boardwalk is normally closed to canines, the city teams up with the rescue to make a special exception for this event.
The BoardWaddle coincides with Ocean City's Doo Dah Parade, which is held every year to celebrate the start of shore season. The basset hound contingent is the largest brigade. Participants dress their pets up in silly costumes and strut proudly down the boardwalk. Since basset hounds aren't known for their stamina, the Pooped Pup Pickup Truck follows the parade to give a lift to any worn-out pooches.
In addition to the parade, the event features a number of competitions and games. The Basset Hound Olympics tests the stubby-legged dogs on their jumping and running abilities. There are numerous costume awards given out throughout the weekend. Most importantly, adoptable bassets are available during the event. Although final numbers for this year's event are still unknown, the 2015 event placed a stunning 372 dogs in forever homes.
Participants also raise funds through pledges and other methods. The 2016 event raised about $25,000 to fund veterinary care, transportation and care for basset hounds in need. Those funds care for dogs in New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania and lower New York.
This year's event was bittersweet for one pair. Alan Lipschutz and his 14-year-old companion, Floppy, have attended 12 BoardWaddles together. Floppy had developed health problems and needed to be euthanized shortly after the event, so the pair was kicking off Floppy's bucket list. In addition to the fun events at the fundraiser, Floppy got to eat filet mignon at a restaurant and visit a nearby dog beach.
The BoardWaddle is a remarkably successful fundraiser that helps save the lives of basset hounds in need. Support other rescues and show your love for the cause by wearing this comfy T-shirt.
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