- The Washington Times - Monday, May 8, 2000

A motley mix of mutts and their human owners marched on the U.S. Capitol yesterday to bring an end to canine discrimination and urge pet lovers to adopt mixed-breed dogs.
Carrying signs that read: "Mutts Rule," "Real Dogs Don't Need Pedigrees" and "Mutts Are Cool Too," an estimated 100 humans and their canine friends staged the first-ever Million Mutt March on the East Lawn of the Capitol.
"We want people to know that mutts are just as good as purebreds," said Joanne McKnight, of Northwest, Washington, D.C., who brought her 2-year-old mutt, Angie, along to the four-hour event. "We just feel that mutts should get the same respect as purebreds, and should never be ruled out as a candidate for a pet."
It was a mostly calm and quiet event, until one dog bit another and several started to bark, but only for a short time.
The mutts and their owners marched around the lawn several times, waving signs, before stopping to drink water and relax in the shade.
Some city residents said they thought yesterday's march was a little far-fetched. Religious freedom is one thing: Mixed-breed dogs is another.
"This is kind of like a joke," said Matt Shephard, of Arlington, Va., who heard about the march on the morning news. "I think these people have gone a little over the edge. I mean, we're talking about dogs here."
But others such as lawyer Ted Williams said even though some events may appear to be making a joke of the First Amendment, they aren't.
"The First Amendment is a flexible document, a document that has been stretched far and wide," Mr. Williams said yesterday. "It has such elasticity that it can withstand even this [Mutt March]. This would not be considered mockery."
The march was organized by MetroPets Online and author Karen Derrico.
And with all those dogs swarming the Capitol, who took care of "business"?
"We all did," Miss Derrico said. "We all had the doggie bags and everybody took care of it."


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