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Canines are capper for Libertyville Days celebration

These were some contestants Pet tricks talent contest put by Animal EducatiAnimal Rescue Libertyville during last day Libertyville Days. |

These were some of the contestants in the Pet tricks and talent contest put on by Animal Education Animal Rescue of Libertyville during the last day of Libertyville Days. | FRANK ABDERHOLDEN~SUN-TIMES MEDIA

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Updated: August 16, 2013 2:20AM

A perfect event for winding down the Libertyville Days celebration on Sunday was the Animal Education & Rescue of Libertyville’s Pet Talent Contest in Cook Park that would have made David Letterman’s Stupid Pet Tricks television segment proud.

Dog owners revealed their pets did things like eat kitty litter, eat socks, destroy plants, lay down with sign language, and chase squirrels while the poor dogs looked on sheepishly.

Shawn Maheu was there with his children, Hunter, 9, and Sydney, 8, with their Standard poodles Shiloh and Storm, who were dressed up to look like their children in soccer shirts and shin guards. “He won’t even take a treat from me. He’s mad at me,” he joked. His wife, Emilie, explained “We were running around at the last minute trying to find something quick, easy and paid for,” she said with a laugh. Hunter’s interest turned from the contest to the reporter. “We’re going to be in the newspaper,” he said excitedly.

Delaney Letizia, 8, of Round Lake brought her dog Casey, who the family got at the local shelter, Save-A-Pet in Grayslake. She entered her puppy in the stupidest pet trick category and went for the laughs. She told him to roll over several times, then she had to help him. “That was part of the joke. She followed it with the command “don’t move” and he didn’t. She won first place for stupid pet tricks. Why does she like dogs? “It’s how they like to play together and run,” she said.

Matthew Carlin, 35, of Libertyville taught his dog to lay down using sign language. It took some practice but his mix German shepherd Dublin executed it perfectly and he was also a winner. Patrick Corkins, 51, of Libertyville entered his pet Leonburger Dugan, which looks like a grey Saint Bernard (they are in the same family) and they won the look-a-like contest.

Rhedis Thomas, 7, dressed up her golden retriever, Sosa, to look like an angel in pink. The 12-year-old dog showed a sweet disposition as she pulled a pink skirt up her hind quarters with her mother’s help. “We had it in the closet,” said her mother, Rhedis, 38, of Gages Lake. “The halo was once used on another old dog, a beagle,” she said.

Her daughter loves animals and had some lucky numbers going into the competition for “most creative” in that her entry number was 7 and she just turned 7-years-old. She won.

“My daughter wants to own a pet store. She loves to play pet store and sets it up inside the house with store shelves and price tags,” said her mom. The daughter told the judges that Sosa, named after White Sox and Cubs player Sammie Sosa, is a very sweet dog that always comes to greet her at the bus stop, likes grain free dog food and barks whenever he goes through the drive through because he thinks he is going to get a treat.

Sandy Kamen Wisniewski is the founder of Animal Education & Rescue in Libertyville and they are known for holding adoption and meet and greet events in downtown Libertyville. The purpose of the foundation is to help countless numbers of animals and people, she said.

“AEAR is a unique Humane Society. In addition to finding homes for rescue pets, we focus a lot of our efforts towards helping the community through our main programs,” she said, which includes investigating animal abuse, community outreach, pet therapy and education to teach people the proper care and treatment of animals.

“We spend a lot of our time and energy helping pets and people in Lake County and the nearby surrounding areas. We want to be there for them,” she said. You can call (847) 816-0831 for more information or to make a donation.

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