Did you know that 5,000,000 domestic animals are euthanized every year because there aren’t enough homes for them? That’s the statistic given by the Beverly Hills Pet Care Foundation (BHPCF), a non-profit dedicated to placing pets in “forever homes” and promoting spaying and neutering.
To bring attention to their efforts with a bit of whimsy, BHPCF sponsored a float in the 2013 Rose Parade, “Follow The Stars – Adopt A Pet!” Built by Fiesta Parade Floats, the entry won the Lathrop K. Leishman Trophy for “Most Beautiful Non-Commercial Float.”
The doggie star of the year, Uggie from The Artist, sat at the front of the float with handler Omar Von Muller, who calls himself Uggie’s dad. A huge black-and-white floragraph of Uggie wearing his bow tie from the movie was also on the float.
“Millions of dogs are being put down nowadays and we’ve got to do something about it,” He told KTLA-5 reporter Chris Schauble in the pre-Rose Parade show. He said he rescued the Jack Russell Terrier when he was nine months old. “Now he’s a movie star! He’s an example that any dog can make it.”
“Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” indeed.
Uggie was not the only animal on the float. In addition to a kennel full of floral puppies and kittens with animated movements to add to their charm, riders held several dogs that could be adopted immediately after the parade. All of the participants on the float—producers, riders, and out walkers—have adopted homeless pets themselves.
Elaine Hendrix, star of The Parent Trap, sat with Uggie’s floragraph holding an adoptable puppy. The out walkers were all dog trainers who volunteer time to help BHPCF find homes for shelter animals.
For links to articles on award-winning floats as they are posted, bookmark “2013 Rose Parade floats: Award-winners, articles, and photos”
Animal fur was created with golden and brown flax seed, curly white coconut chips, dark brown nyjer seed, gold strawflower petals, orange-red safflower spice, orange marigold petals, silky grass, uva grass and pampas grass. Their expressive eyes used black seaweed, green split peas, brown flax seed and sweet rice powder. Nine shades of gray in the floragraph were mixes of three materials, crushed sweet rice, onion seed and poppy seed.
Flowers included cattleya and dendrobium orchids, alstroemeria, lisianthus, lilies, waxflower, iris, roses, gerbera, solidago, renunculars, heather, monte casino, liatris, bouvardia and tulips.
To find out more about Beverly Hills Pet Care Foundation and upcoming pet adoption events, visit www.pets90210.org. Pet Care Foundation programs include Adopt a Pet Today! events four times a year at Beverly Hills City Parks: Roxbury, La Cienega and Beverly Gardens.
The theme of the 124th Rose Parade and 99th Rose Bowl Game was “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” The Tournament of Roses is a celebration that lasts several weeks in the fall and winter, with the high points being the Rose Parade and the Rose Bowl Game on New Year’s Day.