November 4, 2004
Miss America Deidre Downs looked down at Stanley locked in a metal cage.
The 24-year-old knelt, reached through the wire and petted the dog’s wet nose.
Stanley, a 1-year-old neutered mixed-breed dog, returned the affection.
The bond between Downs and Stanley, an orphaned dog, had been established.
"I’ve always been a dog lover," said Downs, who will reign as Miss America throughout 2005. "But I don’t have much time anymore for pets, so this is a lot of fun."
Downs visited the Arizona Animal Welfare League Shelter at 30 N. 40th Place in Phoenix on Wednesday as a prelude to a fund-raiser tonight at the Scottsdale Hilton Resort and Villas, 6333 N. Scottsdale Road.
She was taken to the league’s headquarters by Tony Bolling, owner of Mackie’s Parlour and sponsor of Mackie’s Parlour Going to the Dogs Style Fashion Show.
The show features human models and well-dressed dogs, including several from the shelter. Proceeds go to the Animal Welfare League.
"We asked Miss America to attend the show because we want to draw as much attention as possible and raise as much money as possible for the AAWL," Bolling said.
Betty Welton, president of the Arizona league, guided Downs through the shelter that houses 94 dogs and 134 cats and kittens.
The league finds homes, provides shelters and medical care to about 2,000 dogs and cats each year.
Its primary goal is to find permanent homes for the animals, saving them from being euthanized.
The league is also sponsoring the Merry Mutt Strut & Holiday PetFest fundraiser 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Scottsdale Civic Center Plaza Amphitheater, 3939 N. Drinkwater Blvd.
"Part of my role as Miss America is to draw the public to help causes," Downs said. "It gives me — and them — a good feeling."
Pet fashion show
When: 7 p.m. today
Where: Scottsdale Hilton Resort and Villas, 6333 N. Scottsdale Road
Information: (602) 253-5838