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In Midtown Miami, charity event goes to the dogs — and stars

MIDTOWN

BY RODOLFO ROMAN
Special to the Miami Herald
In August, Isabella Bartlett, 8, got the birthday gift she asked for: a mixed-breed terrier puppy.

Proud of her adopted pooch, she couldn’t wait to dress her up for an early Halloween party as a ghost. Choosing the right costume wasn’t easy.

“I thought the outfit was very cute,” said Isabella, whose parents adopted the 2-month-old puppy from the Humane Society of Broward. “Originally, I wanted to dress her as a fairy princess.”

Isabella’s new four-legged friend, Scarlett, was just one of many animals dressed up as scarecrows, firefighters and other get-ups at the Greater Miami Humane Society’s Howl at the Moon fundraiser at The Shops at Midtown Miami, 3401 N. Miami Ave.

“I love her,” said Isabella, who cuddled with Scarlett at the Oct. 10 event.

The fundraiser also was part of the World at Night Photography celestial photography exhibit. The affair celebrated the International Year of Astronomy, which pays tribute to the 400th anniversary of Galileo’s refinement of the telescope that revolutionized the study of the heavens and ushered in a new era of stargazing.

Shoppers and animal lovers had the best of both worlds as the exhibit, which ended Sunday, featured over 30 pictures of the world’s landmarks against celestial backdrops.

The shops also had a competition where local photographers submitted nighttime photos of South Florida.

The Shops at Midtown received 20 pictures from local photographers for the show. Only three were selected, including Alberto Rodriguez’s picture of Coral Gables’ Little Flower Church against the South Florida sky.

“I’ve taken a lot of pictures of Coral Gables ,” said Rodriguez, who was joined by his Jack Russell, Chulo.

“It’s safe at night there. It’s very interesting because of the antique buildings,” he said.

Rodriguez joined several pet owners who trick-or-treated with their fury friends in the Fountain Plaza and pooches also participated in contests such as a dog version of musical chairs — without chairs.

Lenor Ryan, general manager of the Shops of Midtown Miami, said the event was a good fit for the neighborhood.

“In this area, there are a lot of residents with dogs,” said Ryan, who tagged along with her 8-week-old pointer, Izzy. “It’s a good charity.”

The event also showcased animals up for adoption.

The Humane Society’s no-kill shelter can only take in a limited amount of cats and dogs, said Laurie Hoffman, director of development and communications for the Humane Society,

“We need people to adopt,” she said.

The not-for-profit organization had six dogs up for adoption, ranging from a Husky to a poodle mix.

Developers Diversified Realty, owner of The Shops of Midtown Miami, presented the non-profit with a $2,500 check.

Hoffman said she expected to raise $3,000 at the event.

As for Scarlett, Hannah Bartlett, Isabella’s mother, said the pup was an ideal birthday gift.

“She’s a great asset to the family,” Bartlett said.

For information on upcoming Humane Society Halloween events, visit www.humanesocietymiami.org.

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