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They ain’t nothin’ but pug dogs

DEL MAR — Pugs dressed as the Queen of Hearts, a runaway bride and of course Elvis were on hand for the 24th annual Pug Party held May 2 at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.

With a “Vegas Pups” theme, the event, hosted by Pug Rescue of San Diego, also featured canine costumes such as showgirls, jesters and a (card) shark.

Pug Party is the organization’s biggest fundraiser and the largest gathering of pugs on the West Coast.

Prizes were awarded in wet T-shirt, cupcake chomp-eating and best baby, male and female costume contests.

The event also featured a shopping boutique with pug-friendly vendors, pawticure services such as nail trimming, wraps and polishes, raffle prizes, an ask-the-vet session to address pug-specific concerns and a professional pugographer taking portraits.

Heather TJ-Palmer of Oceanside tries to get 5-year-old Chloe Bisou to smile for the camera. Photo by Bianca KaplanekOceanside residents David, Hillary and 9-year-old Zac Alemian all donned costumes for the Las Vegas-themed event. Photo by Bianca KaplanekEight-year-old Rainbow, owned by Krista Sexton of San Marcos, takes a break from all the pugtivities. Photo by Bianca KaplanekBud Johnson of South Park and Zoe took second place in the best female costume contest. Photo by Bianca Kaplanek

Proceeds support the organization’s mission to rescue abandoned or neglected pugs and place them in permanent, loving homes. Several dogs were available for adoption.

Funds also help Pug Rescue provide medical care to pugs in foster care until they are adopted. Last year the group received more than 150 dogs, with about nine out of 10 needing medical attention.

The organization estimates it can take more than $1,200 to ready one pug for adoption.

To adopt a pug, volunteer or learn more about Pug Rescue of San Diego County, visit pugsandiego.com or call (619) 685-3580.

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