An English bulldog puppy. Photo via Wikimedia Commons
An English bulldog puppy. Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Can sexy belly dancers get you to adopt a puppy?

Belly dancers by the dozens will shimmy, shake and twirl to encourage Riverside County and other Southern California residents to adopt a pet from the county’s Jurupa Valley shelter Saturday.

Around 85 dancers are slated to take part in the annual “Shimmy for Critters” event at the Western Riverside County Animal Shelter on Van Buren Boulevard west of the city of Riverside beginning at noon.

“We appreciate the goodwill brought to our shelter by the wonderful volunteers who make `Shimmy for Critters’ happen each year,” Department of Animal Services Director Rob Miller said. “The belly dancers really do energize our shelter, and we love how this event draws in many families and adopters for our homeless pets.”

The nonprofit Animal Solutions Konnection — ASK — Foundation, along with former shelter employee Marilyn Chocron, introduced the belly dancing benefit to Riverside County in 2010. Chocron died of breast cancer in 2013, but her colleagues are carrying on with the cause.

Nearly two-dozen dance performances are planned over a four-hour span. According animal services spokesman John Welsh, the fun will include a “kiss-a- pit-bull” petting booth and vendors offering canine obedience training tips.

Welsh said that as part of the occasion, the shelter will provide impounded dogs and cats at the discounted adoption rate of $20. The shelter will also distribute free canine and kitty “goodie bags” to the first 50 adopters.

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