Shelter Thrilled As Mutts Make The Big Time

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MONTROSE -- The world's most famous dog show wraps up in New York City and for the first time, the Westminster Dog Show welcomed mixed breeds or mutts.

We will find out Tuesday night who wins best in show at Westminster.  for That we will see the usual primped and proper purebreds on display.

But this year mixed breeds were welcomed for the agility competition at Westminster, something that was unheard of for decades.

At an animal shelter in Susquehanna County, mutt lovers are thrilled this barrier was broken.

At True Friends Animal Welfare Center in Montrose, dogs there certainly aren't dreaming of becoming best in show. All they want is a home.

But this place in Susquehanna County is full of mixed breeds and now the most prestigious show in all of dogdom is acknowledging mutts are dogs, too.

“I cheered when I heard it on the news a couple of weeks back. I think it's fantastic,” said shelter worker Maureen Brahm.

At this shelte,r the dogs certainly don't have pampered pasts.

Mimick is new here, a 6-month-old stray left out in the bitter cold, found covered with porcupine quills. But he's ready to put on his own kind of show.  A lot of the mutts here are.

“They have their different characters and different looks you know?  A lot of people come in and say ‘wow, look at that.’ It may have flappy ears, long tail or not, or their coats might be different,” said shelter worker Raina Upright.

“Some of the mutts they call them are the most intelligent things. They're brilliant at agility and things like that.  I think it's great,” Brahm said.

And these shelter dogs can do just what they do at Westminster. They can certainly be trained.  but most importantly, they can be loved.

“They're beautiful. Our dogs are absolutely gorgeous, all of them,” Brahm added.

Westminster isn't quite ready to give Best in Show to mixed breeds like Daisy. But just including them in some competition brings attention to mutts. And with so many in need of homes, at True Friends they say any attention is an award in itself.

“I think it's fantastic. I think it gives these shelter dogs a chance.  More people are prone to look at them compared to highly adoptable purebreds,” said Upright.

True Friends Animal Welfare Center has dozens of dogs - and cats - available for adoption.

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