Dogs get ready to strut down the catwalk



There’s less than a week left to purchase tickets for what will be one of the most-barked about fashion shows of the year. Dogs on the Catwalk, slated Saturday, Oct. 1 at Sinclair Community College, will feature some of the most stylish pups in the city.

The event is a luncheon and Howl-o-Ween Pet Fashion Show to benefit Ellie’s Rainy Day Fund, which helps pay for specialty and emergency veterinary services to families who otherwise could not afford it.

All the dogs featured in the fashion show were saved by the fund. The owners will walk the dogs down the catwalk and many of the donors and Faithful Friends on the fund will be there to see the pups.

“Anyone who has ever donated can feel fantastic because they can see how they’ve made a difference,” said executive director Juli Burnell. “But if you are going to go tickets sales close Sept. 19.”

The event begins with a meet-and-greet at 11:30 a.m. held at Sinclair’s Ponitz Center, 444 W. Third St., Dayton. Lunch is at noon and a video of “fashionista pets” will be shown throughout the meal. While people are not allowed to bring their pets to the event, they can send in photos.

“Attendees are invited to send photos of their dogs in costume for the video to be shown during lunch and posted on social media following the event,” Burnell said. “Anyone who purchased event or raffle tickets can send in photos of your fur-kids dressed for Halloween or in their best outfits.”

Cassie Barlow, former Wright-Patterson Air Force Base commander, will be the guest speaker. Burnell said Barlow is also a dog lover and will be sharing stories of how dogs have impacted people’s lives, including hers.

The fashion show starts at 1 p.m. The event will be emceed by Emily Gibbs, local host of “Living Dayton.” All the pet costumes will be created by various designers and will be overseen by Caressa L. Brown, owner/director of (DE-FI) Global INC.

“In a nutshell, we focus on fashion, talent, media and events,” Brown said. “We develop and support those seeking a career in the fashion industry and connect them to other like-minded individuals seeking the same. We do this by providing affordable access, resources and opportunities.”

Beyond the costumes, Brown said Denise Black-Viscomi, creator of NeNe Lee, has agreed to make custom matching jewelry for both the dogs and their humans. These pieces will be donated to a silent auction with 100 percent of the proceeds going to Ellie’s Rainy Day Fund.

“Caressa said she always wanted to do this kind of thing but didn’t know how,” Burnell noted. “She doesn’t even have a dog! She’s happy to support other people and their dogs. All the costumes will be one-of-a-kind.”

There will be vendors selling various dog items including toys, treats, grooming supplies, and even a sports drink created specifically for dogs. At the end of the event, there will be a 50/50 raffle and 10 baskets of goodies that will also be auctioned off.

“I’m most excited for the opportunity for people who are making this happen to actually get to meet the people whose lives they’re changing and the dogs they’re saving,” Burnell said. “It’s great to see the life you changed.”

For more information or to purchase tickets for the event or for the raffle visit The deadline to purchase tickets is Sept. 19.

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