The Greatest Spectacle in Dog Walking

April 27, 2019 | Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Top Dog

Want To Be The 2020 Top Dog?

Our Top Dog is the face of Mutt Strut, determined by the top fundraiser each year. The top fundraiser’s dog – the new Top Dog – is given special recognition in Mutt Strut and IndyHumane collateral, and becomes the “ambassa-dog” for the following year’s Mutt Strut. Your dog will be featured on posters, ads, and all manner of Mutt Strut promotions! This is your dog’s chance to be famous.


Top Dog fundraisers are just normal registrants with a unique energy for IndyHumane — if that sounds like you, you’re already entered! You’ll simply register as a participant (either as an individual or as part of a Team), and get to work fundraising. Once you’ve reached $5,000 in funds raised, you’ll receive an email with more information about continuing in the program.


Mutt Strut is IndyHumane’s largest annual fundraiser. As a wholly independent organization, we rely completely on the generosity of our donors, sponsors, and volunteers to maintain our life-saving operation here in Indianapolis, and to continue to serve as the voice against animal cruelty and neglect in Central Indiana. Without efforts like yours and like Top Dogs before you, we couldn’t do what we do and have the impact we have, so we hope the emotional rewards are enough to get you started.

That said, we try to keep the deal pretty sweet for you and your pet, too.

First, your pooch becomes the face of Mutt Strut 2019. As our Mutt Strut Ambassa-dog, you and your canine companion will get to appear as the 2019 Grand Marshals in opening ceremonies.

Staff from IndyHumane will also present your pooch with a Top Dog Trophy!

There are some additional perks we’re able to offer the Top Dog winner, as well:

  • An exclusive professional photoshoot for you and your dog
  • A one-year membership to the IndyHumane Bark Park
  • A one-year kennel sponsorship for you, your pet, your family, or whomever you’d like to dedicate your kennel


No catches. But we do have a few rules: First, only one entry per Mutt Strut registrant. Each contest participant must be a Mutt Strut registrant, and dogs are the only animals eligible for the contest.

Only an individual’s fundraising is eligible to win Top Dog. This means that if you are fundraising as part of a Team, your individual fundraising contribution for that Team is what determines your chances at being the Top Dog.

In the event of an exact tie, IndyHumane reserves the right to final selection of the Top Dog. Previous Top Dogs are not eligible to win again.



Meet our 2018 Top Dog, Reina!

Reina is not only our Mutt Strut Top Dog, she is also an IndyHumane alum!

Reina came to IndyHumane as a transfer from Indianapolis Animal Care Services, the city’s animal shelter, in July of 2016. Before coming to IndyHumane, Reina underwent surgery on her eyelids to address a condition in which her eyelids rolled inward against her cornea. Unfortunately, there were complications with the surgery that resulted in her not being able to close her eyes all the way. IndyHumane brought Reina to our shelter, where Humane’s Dr. Snyder performed corrective surgery. The operation was a success, and after healing, Reina was made available for adoption.

Longtime IndyHumane volunteer Laura Michael took a special interest in Reina while walking dogs at the shelter as a Canine Companion. Laura noticed that Reina’s boundless energy and impressive jumping height sometimes intimidated volunteers, and she made sure to walk Reina first each day. She walked her often in July and August, expecting each day that she came in to see Reina adopted, but the sweet dog continued to be overlooked by potential adopters.

On Labor Day in 2016, Laura’s husband, Dod, volunteered at the shelter alongside her. Laura told him when they arrived that they would visit Reina first. As Dod says, he immediately “fell like a rock” in love with her. Laura and Dod spent their entire two hour volunteer shift that day with Reina.

They badly wanted to bring Reina home with them, but were cautious that their dog, Lucy, would not accept another dog into the home. Through an IndyHumane overnight program for staff and volunteers, they were able to bring Reina home for a night to give her a break from the shelter, and to see how she and Lucy got along. Reina immediately accepted Lucy as the boss of the household, and they got along from day one. After fostering her for a week, they were sure – she would become part of the family.

Today, Reina loves her life at home with Laura and Dod, and her sister Lucy. She gives high-fives upon request. As her new dad says, “She’s not perfect but she’s pretty close.”

In 2017, Laura worked hard to raise funds through Mutt Strut, and she became our top fundraiser! IndyHumane is thrilled to have an alumna of our shelter represent the event this year, and to recognize Reina as our 2018 Top Dog.

Come meet Reina at Mutt Strut 2018 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway!


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