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Dog House Float
Credit: @by.drake

Mardi Gras has gone to the dogs!

Inspired by the popularity of the House Float movement taking over New Orleans, the Mystic Krewe of Mardi Paws is hosting its first-ever Dog House Float contest.

The krewe, which has been behind St. Tammany Parish's beloved dog parade for 27 years, hopes to spread smiles while drawing attention to the plight of the homeless pups at the St. Tammany Parish Department of Animal Services in Lacombe, Louisiana—the only open-admission animal shelter in the parish.

"We noted with interest how enthusiastic human residents have been about decorating their own homes like Mardi Gras floats, and we thought it would be a clever spin to take that one step further and encourage them to decorate their dog houses, too," Denise Gutnisky, the Captain and Parade Founder for the Krewe of Mardi Paws, said in a statement to Southern Living. "This isn't a typical year, but we've never been a typical Mardi Gras parade. We're always looking for the fun and clever twist. This seemed like the paw-fect way to do something special for people AND their pets in this unusual year."

Mardi Paws Dog House Float
Credit: Brianne Whelan

Mardi Paws is encouraging pups and their people to unleash their creativity and transform dog houses into Mardi Gras-themed works of art. Businesses and residents can decorate a doghouse on their property or even to go all out by transforming their building into a giant doghouse. Those already signed up for a "House Float" krewe become eligible for the Dog House Float contest by simply adding a dog house to their existing display. Even doghouse-shaped mailboxes qualify!

Participants have until by 4 p.m. Central time on Saturday, February 20, to register at DogHouseFloats.com. There's no cost to enter, and top contenders can fetch prizes in either the "residential" or "business" categories.

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"We've been thrilled with the level of excitement this has generated. So far, we have nearly 100 pet families participating in our doghouse float contest, and we anticipate a lot of last-minute entries. That's how it is with our parade each year, too. This week kids in Louisiana are off from school for the Mardi Gras holiday, so I anticipate that plenty of pet families are busy creating mutts-terpieces in their back yards right now," Gutnisky saisd. "The true beauty of this event is that people anywhere in the world can compete. It doesn't matter where your dog's true home is... everyone is welcome to participate and is part of our Mardi Paws family."

Laissez les bone temps rouler, y'all!