This December new meaning will be brought to a wet T-shirt or hot dog-eating contest. The winners of these games will be dogs.

AZ RESCUE will host its first Canine Carnival at the Ruben Romero Corporate Area at Kiwanis Park near Mill Avenue and All American Way from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 4.

The event is for all dog owners or soon-to-be-owners, looking for a dog to adopt, to have fun, be outdoors and raise awareness for AZ RESCUE, a non-profit organization in Maricopa County that saves dogs from euthanasia to be adopted. They take up to 30 dogs and 40 cats at one time and match them with people looking to adopt.

Once a year they hold a picnic in October as a reunion for their adopters. This year they've decided to host a carnival in December as an expansion of their annual picnic, to teach more people about RESCUE and create a pet-friendly event for the community.

At least 15 vendors that are recommended by RESCUE will be at the event, including pet grooming, a homeopathic vet, behaviorists, Four Paws Adventures, which takes pets on adventurous walks and hikes, and local pet food companies. There will also be 30-minute pet acupuncture sessions for $15 and pictures with Santa for a minimal donation. All proceeds will go directly to RESCUE to help pets get adopted.

The event will also have agility equipment for pets to run around on, a raffle and contests.

The "best kisser" contest will challenge dogs to kiss their owners with everyone watching. For the hot dog-eating contest, hot dogs will be chopped up and put into a kiddie pool. Dogs will have a certain amount of time to try and eat as many hot dogs as they can. Dogs and owners will also have a chance to compete in a wet T-shirt contest, where pets will have to run to a kiddie pool, jump inside, and put on a wet T-shirt with help from their owners. Prizes will be awarded to the winners.

For those without a dog it will be a great event to find one. Dogs up for adoption will be at the park to interact with and get to know throughout the day. Volunteers will be available to help with the adoption process.

"It's just a day when people can come out with pets and enjoy the afternoon," said Jennifer Berry, president of AZ RESCUE. "We also want to show people that the dogs at the shelter aren't scary or vicious. These are well adjusted dogs who need a home."

Allison Hurtado is interning this semester for the Ahwatukee Foothills News. She is a junior at Arizona State University.


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