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Pugtoberfest in Washington Twp. raises fund for breed's unique health challenges

| Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Jason Bridge | Valley News Dispatch
Madison Trudgen, 7, smooches with her pug named Bailey during the 'Longest Kissing Pug' contest during Pugtoberfest at Kunkle Park in Washington Township on Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013.
Jason Bridge | Valley News Dispatch
Ryan Flannery, of Fox Chapel carries Rosie, a year-old Pug, during Pugtoberfest at Kunkle Park in Washington Township on Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013.

Sandy and Eric Renaldi know how expensive it can be to care for a dog with special needs.

Their pug, Mungo, is diabetic and has a seizure disorder, among other problems, they said.

That's why they attend Pugtoberfest, a fundraising event for two organizations dedicated to helping pugs. The money raised helps the groups pay for medical care for pugs they rescue from shelters.

“It's just a good cause and it's nice to give back,” said Eric Renaldi, of New Kensington.

The event at Kunkle Park in Washington Township on Saturday raised money for Southwestern PA Pugs with Special Needs and Guardian Angels Pug Rescue.

More than 100 pugs and their owners attended the event, which is in its fifth year.

What organizers call “pug wannabe's” dotted the field, too, including a golden retriever, dachshunds and a Russian wolfhound.

Lisa Ward, with Southwestern PA Pugs with Special Needs, said they're hoping to bring in $3,000 this year to split between the two charities.

“It's just a way to have fun things to do to raise money,” she said.

Among the popular events are the costume contest and dog trick demonstrations.

Jodi Weigand is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4702 or jweigand@tribweb.com.

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