Mr. Pig, owned by Katharine Hilburn, is a black and white pot-bellied pig that walked in Saturday’s march of animals for the Rome-Floyd County Humane Society fundraiser. The pig was joined by pooches of all sizes — and even a couple of cats here and there — to help raise money to keep pets healthy and safe in Floyd County.
Though Mr. Pig was a surefire crowd pleaser, other pet owners like Kathy Teat and her husband, Marlin Teat, decided it was enough to bring their favorite pooch — in this case a basset hound named Shiloh — for a green-themed walk.
“She loves it; she has the best time every year seeing all the dogs,” Kathy Teat said. “It’s just a great socialization for her and for us, because we see a lot of people we know, too.”
Teat was doubly excited after the parade, when Shiloh took home first prize for Best Costume. Other St. PETrick’s participants joining Mr. Pig and Shiloh with first-prize wins were 6-year-old Madison Reaves and her dog Bella for best animal-owner lookalike and Cathy Varidel’s dogs Gryphon and Max for best team costume.
This was the first parade year for Candice Cochran, who dressed up with her dog Athena. Cochran said word-of-mouth brought her out.
“My sister came last year, and we saw photos of how much fun they had and so we decided to come out,” she said. “We love coming out and helping with the community and the animals.”
Humane Society secretary Judith Pierson said more than 80 animals and their owners marched in this year’s parade.
The parade takes to the streets every year to raise money for various projects that help city and county pet owners, including a pet food pantry, pet vaccinations for those who can’t afford them and the spay and neuter program.