Wildflowers Dog Show Raises Funds for Friends of Shelter, Stirs for More

Featuring Cricket Luker as Hostess with Most Creative Partner and Kerith Creo as Emcee Extraordinary, the 21st Annual Lighthouse Dog Show Wildflowers took to the red carpet on Thursday August 18 at Barnegat Light.

No one could help but smile as they watched the happy dogs of all shapes and colors, eager to bask in the warmth of admiration. Many wore creative costumes, concocted by their owners and paraded for the judges, all to benefit the nonprofit Friends of the Southern Ocean County Animal Shelter.

The dog show was a family affair for Jim and Liz Healy and their creative group, which represented New York (Broadway, the Big Apple) with mixed-breed pups Max, Piper, Molly and Lola. “Blues Brothers” Splash and Rover stole hearts in their pinstripe suits and shades. Honored among the top kissers was a miniature golden doodle named Kona.

Dorothy “Dottie” Reynolds of Barnegat Light is the founder and former president of the non-profit organization FOSOCAS, which she started in 1989.

“The many dogs in the Baybreeze Park Pavilion at Barnegat Light entertained the crowd as they competed for ribbons in various categories,” Reynolds said. “Best of all, every dog ​​was a winner because they helped raise money to help the shelter’s less fortunate homeless dogs with special needs.

“In the 1980s, just a few blocks away, it was a very different scene,” she said. “A frightened lost dog was locked in the public works yard, anxiously peering through the fence. When I learned that he was waiting to be transported the next day to the Northern Ocean County pet store several miles away in Jackson, the need for a local, more accessible animal shelter was clear,” explained Reynolds.

“Even before I had a shelter, I founded FOSOCAS with a small group, including a veterinarian and the mayor of Stafford Township. We attended an Ocean County landowners meeting and in 1992 a shelter was built. Now we could be Friends of a true refuge.

“Thanks to the support of all dog show attendees and local businesses, and in particular FOSOCAS board member Cricket Luker, owner of Wildflowers, there are now many more healthy and happy dogs. health in loving homes in Southern Ocean County.”

Luker described the dog show as a “light and fun community event that has become something special at Barnegat Light”.

Each year, the dog show is held on or near his birthday.

“When it started, I pretended the dogs were dressing up to come to my party,” she said. “It always brings me great joy and I love that it raises funds for a cause close to my heart.”

Although attendance was strong, the fundraising goal was not fully met. Donations to FOSOCAS are always welcome, encouraged and appreciated. Visit fosocas.org and click donate. —VF