FRANKLIN, Wis. -- On Sunday, the 11th annual Milwaukee Pug Fest welcomed hundreds of dogs to Milwaukee County in Wisconsin, despite some setbacks from the Chicago-area dog flu outbreak.
Pug Fest is the largest pug event in North America, with attendees coming from all over the U.S. and Canada, the official website says. Sunday's event featured costume contests, vendors and a blessing of the pugs by Fr. John Allen.
The pug convention is organized by Pug Hugs, Inc., a not-for-profit rescue group. Organizers say due to the flu outbreak, attendance was down about 13 percent. About 2,700 people and 1,500 pugs attended this year.
While Milwaukee's Pug Fest went on as planned, the communal water dishes set out in years past were replaced with a single-dish delivery system to keep from spreading germs. As a safety precaution, Pug Fest also eliminated the "Pug Pen," a huge fenced area in the complex for pugs to socialize.
Chicago's annual Pug Party, typically hosted in the spring as well, was postponed until fall this year due to the outbreak of dog flu. However, Pug Party organizer Ben Friedman acted as a judge in the costume contests for Sunday's event.