Mardi Gras

Critters of All Kinds Can Join This Virtual ‘Doggie Gras'

The furry Fat Tuesday fun is rolling online, thanks to the Helen Woodward Animal Center in Rancho Santa Fe.

Helen Woodward Animal Center

What to Know

  • Register through Feb. 16, 2021; winners will be announced on Feb. 19
  • $10 donation (supports the Rancho Santa Fe-based animal center)
  • Submit a photo of your pet wearing her Mardi Gras best (ensembles or decorated "floats" are a-ok)

LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL? It's the thrilling and timeless call to ebullient action that's long been associated with the observance of Mardi Gras. And while we humans sometimes have a little trouble in letting any times roll, be they good or not, we can't say the same thing about our pets. For animals? They're always in the moment, and forever connected to this minute, and their carefree approach to life can be pure inspiration for people. So entering our animals in a Mardi Gras-inspired parade? It's a perfect fit of reveler and revelry. Finding a Mardi Gras event created for our critters, though, can be tough, and 2021, with its multiple closures and cancellations due to the pandemic, has made it a trickier proposition. But you only need glance in the direction of Rancho Santa Fe, and the...

HELEN WOODWARD ANIMAL CENTER, which hosts an adorable fundraiser called Doggie Gras each year. It'll be a virtual party in 2021, so anyone from anywhere on the planet can join. Sending in a snapshot of your pet in his Bourbon Street-ready style? That can be done for a donation of $10 (which in turn helps the center's many animal-supporting programs). If you'd like to decorate a "float" for your costumed pet, say, a pet stroller or red wagon, that is encouraged, too. Registration is now open, and it will wag its tail right through to Feb. 16. The big winner reveal? That woofs/meows on Feb. 19.

FAT TUESDAY + FUNDRAISING: And beyond the beads and gewgaws, this good-hearted happening really is all about helping a multitude of animals. But showing off your own animal, be he a bunny, tortoise, or hedgehog? That's super-sweet, too. "We love this event so much," stated Helen Woodward Animal Center Special Event Manager Phoebe Luff.  "It brings smiles to so many faces. The one silver lining in taking the event virtual, is that it allows us to invite people from across the country to participate and it allows pet-owners of all kinds to take part. A pet lizard wouldn’t be safe walking in the annual parade, but this year, birds, bunnies, snakes, guinea pigs and more can all be a part of the fun!"

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