LAKE CITY — Do people mistake you for your Maltese? Is your dachshund one matching sweater-vest away from being your twin?
If so, you and your pet might have what it takes to win the Pet Look Alike Contest on Oct. 16 after the fourth annual 5K-9 Fun Walk/Run to benefit the Hiawatha Animal Humane Society.
The contest, which immediately follows the completion of the 9 a.m. walk/run, is part of the fundraiser weekend for the Humane Society chapter that serves Wabasha County, a bit of Goodhue County near Lake City, and a piece of Wisconsin.
Teri Bissonnette, a volunteer and organizer of the event, said the group has worked hard to include fury friends along with their fundraising activities.
"Last time, we did a zany dog show," Bissonnette said. "We had prizes for best tail wagger, best trick, goodest girl and other fun categories. We had a lot of fun with it."
The group has also partnered with local firefighters to pose their dogs for a calendar.
On Oct. 16, people can register for the 5K walk/run, either with or without their pets for a $25 entry fee. For those looking to win a prize for their looks rather than their stamina, the separate entry fee is $15. The race will start and finish at Bark, LLC, at 1500 W. Marion St., Lake City. The contest will be held there as well.
"We'll hand out prizes if you have a natural resemblance – some people start to look like their pets after a while – or if you need a costume to do the trick," Bissonnette said.
The past few years, the group's fundraisers have raised about $2,000, and "every penny" from this year's fundraiser supports the Hiawatha Animal Humane Society as well.
"We don’t have a physical address," Bissonnette said. "It’s all volunteers."
The group fosters pets in need at their homes, she said, and advertises the pets in need of a home in the Wabasha Graphic and Lake City Herald. In addition to about 15 active volunteers, the group has another 45 who donate dog and cat toys, take animals to vet visits, and help support the foster families.
Along with Bark LLC, a dog daycare and boarding facility, the event is sponsored by Anytime Fitness of Lake City and Zumbro Falls Veterinary Clinic, which along with Lake Pepin Pet Clinic & Hospital provides low-cost veterinary services for the humane society.
"We haven’t done this before," Bissonnette said, referring to this year's contest. "It could be really, really funny."