IDAHO FALLS There were no catcalls at this runway fashion show.
The models were dogs, dressed in their finest jackets and sweaters, hoping to catch the eye of someone who would take them home from cages at the local pound.
The fashion show Saturday at a junior high school auditorium was the brainchild of seventh-grader Sarah Rich, who wanted a novel concept to find new homes for dogs.
"I thought it would be a good idea," Rich said. "I've never seen anything like that."
Rich e-mailed Irene Brown, animal services manger at the Idaho Falls Animal Shelter, to see if puppies would be available to model.
Brown got the OK from supervisors and brought eight pooches from the shelter and eight more from the Humane Society of the Upper Valley, all outfitted in jackets, sweaters and other clothing donated by a local pet store.
About 50 people attended the show, most of them students, as Brown called up the contestants one by one over a chorus of barks and whimpers. Brown said she was hoping for a slightly larger turnout but still thought it was a good idea.
Dave, a yellow Labrador mix draped in a blue sweater, generated the most interest and was the unofficial "Best in Show."
Nine-year-old Natasha Hamilton, who wants to be a veterinarian, tried to convince her dad, Shane, that Dave would make a great addition to the family.
"He's cute," she said.
Hamilton didn't argue that point but said he was interested in a smaller dog. The family planned to visit the animal shelter Monday to choose a new pet.
The animal shelter has about 25 dogs on average, and Monday is the earliest owners could pick up their adopted pets, Brown said.
Idaho Falls doesn't charge an adoption fee, so prospective owners need pay only neuter or spaying costs $60 for males, $75 for females plus a $10 surcharge to have a microchip implanted in the animal and a five-year municipal license that runs $6 to $10.
The fashion show was one of several events the 120 seventh-graders produced as part of their service project. Others included a run to raise money for soccer field improvements and a collection to assemble school kits for children in Africa.
"I'm proud of them," teacher Laurie Kiester said.