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Published on - Jan. 11, 2012
99 pooches parade in Holiday Lights finale
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Sit and Stay winner - Jazmine the Shiloh shepherd, shown by Randall Durham of Largo.
LARGO - The Florida Botanical Gardens' Holiday Lights celebration wrapped up its best season ever with a New Year's Eve Dog Parade of 99 dogs of every size and breed, from well-dressed Chihuahuas to Newfoundlands.

Contestants were judged in six categories: prettiest pooch, handsomest hound, best costume, fetch and drop, sit and stay and best trick.

Among area winners and their owners were Prettiest Pooch - Shelly the Sheltie and Donnie Bettes of Largo; Handsomest Hound - Siberian husky Kato and Tony and Robin Pittaluga of Seminole; and Sit and Stay winner - Shiloh shepherd Jazmine and Randall Durham of Largo.

Tyson Youts of Pinellas County Animal Control was emcee.

Judges were veterinarian Dr. David Tollon; Largo Veterinary Hospital technician Holly Grinstead; and David Parhalo, a Hill's Pet Nutrition representative.

Dog Parade registration raised $700 for the gardens, which are on Ulmerton Road in Largo. More than 60,000 visitors enjoyed the spectacular displays of 500,000 lights from Nov. 1 through Jan. 1. That is up from 42,000 in 2010.
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