Annual Pug Rescue bash May 2 at Del Mar Fairgrounds

It’s pugs aplenty at the 2014 Pug Rescue of San Diego County Pug Party at the fairgrounds.
It’s pugs aplenty at the 2014 Pug Rescue of San Diego County Pug Party at the fairgrounds.
(Karen Billing)

Pug Rescue of San Diego County, an all-volunteer nonprofit dedicated to rescuing unwanted, neglected, abandoned and relinquished pugs, will host its 24th annual Pug Party from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. May 2 at the Del Mar Fairgrounds’ Paddock Area.

From 500 to 600 pugs are expected to attend, as well as several pugs that will be available for adoption. This event is one of the largest gatherings on the West Coast to celebrate the pug breed and to help pugs in need.

This year’s theme is “Vegas Pugs,” and organizers are expecting some of the most creative costumes yet — showgirls, Rat Pack, perhaps Elvis?

The annual event also boasts a shopping boutique with pug-friendly vendors. Popular contests for pugs and their parents will be held through the day such as costume-themed competitions, the Wet T-Shirt Contest, the Cupcake Chomp, Pug Talent Show and the recognition of the Most Distinguished Senior Pug. There will also be a raffle of more than 20 beautiful baskets with gifts and unique items any recipient would love.

Pug-friendly services are also available throughout the day, such as pawticures, pug massages, facials and more. There will be an “Ask the Vet” session to address pug-specific concerns, and a professional photographer will provide portraits, a feature many pug parents look forward to year after year.

All proceeds go to Pug Rescue’s efforts. In 2014, volunteers from Pug Rescue took in more than 150 pugs. According to the organization, nine out of 10 pugs that enter Pug Rescue need some sort of medical attention. Relinquished pugs live in foster care until their forever homes are found and it can take more than $1,200 per pug just to get them ready for adoption.

Admission is $10 for adults, and $5 for youth ages 10 to 18. Kids under 10 are free.

Guests interested in adopting a pug from Pug Rescue are encouraged to fill out an application in advance. Volunteers are also needed. For details, application forms, and photos of available pugs, visit or call 619-685-3580.