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Strut Your Mutt Week: Helpful Celebs Like Betty White to Raise Money for Animals

Puppy_400By Sharon Knolle
Furry friends are getting their own dose of paparazzi action this month. Actors Ian Somerhalder (Vampire Diaries) and Kristen Renton (Sons of Anarchy) are used to strutting their stuff on the red carpet, but this month they’re helping homeless dogs during Strut Your Mutt Week, which runs from September 22 to 29. The fundraiser, sponsored by Best Friends Animal Society, just announced six new locations: In addition to events in Los Angeles and New York City, dog lovers will gather in Portland, Austin, Baltimore, Jacksonville, St. Louis, and Lafayette, La.

Last year’s event raised $700,000 for Best Friends and other animal rescue groups. This year the group hopes to raise at least $1 million, which will go towards adoption and spay and neuter services. The ultimate goal is “No More Homeless Pets” and no more animals being euthanized.

Somerhalder and Renton have tweeted they’ll attend the “Strut Your Mutt” event in Lafayette on Sept. 22, where events will include doggie yoga, a doggie kissing booth, and free consultations with a Petco trainer. How big is the Vampire Diaries’ star’s heart? His foundation just helped secure a private sanctuary for “misfit” animals.

Ready to put on the dog? Register for the Strut Your Mutt event nearest you. Most walks are a leisurely 2-mile trek with photo opps and refreshing beverages afterward.

Betty White, Animal’s Best Friend
For animal lovers in the L.A. area, long-time animal advocate Betty White is being honored by the American Humane Association at the Hero Dog Awards on Oct. 6. The Hot in Cleveland star and author of the memoir Here We Go Again will accept her award in person at the black-tie gala, where one courageous canine will be crowned the 2012 American Hero Dog.

Kristin Chenoweth is set to host and singer Jewel will perform. To purchase tickets or cast your vote for 2012 American Hero Dog, go to

Furry Crusaders
Inspiring tales of heroic dogs who saved their owner’s lives can also be found in The Divinity of Dogs, True Stories of Miracles Inspired by Man’s Best Friend by Jennifer Skiff, out Oct. 23.

For more dog-gone great reads (sorry!), check out this great list of new pet-friendly titles, including The Royal Treatment by Dr. Barbara Royal, DVM. Her holistic approach to veterinary care has earned her accolades from the likes of Oprah.

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