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Search & Rescue dogs named 2018 Downtown Holiday Parade Grand Marshals

It’s the year of the dog for the 66th Annual Downtown Santa Barbara Holiday Parade.

“We are pleased to announce that we have not one but four Grand Marshals – four of the heroic rescue dogs from Santa Barbara County Search and Rescue!” said Kate Schwab, DSB Marketing & Communications Director.

Schwab says these dogs were vital to the rescue efforts after the devastating Montecito mudslides.

“With our theme ‘Santa Barbara Shines,’ and our goal of bringing a bit of closure one year after the recent disasters, these teams (four dogs, four handlers) are the perfect four-footed Grand Marshalls for the 66th Annual Downtown SB Holiday Parade, Presented by Consumer Fire Products, Inc!,” said Schwab.

Riding down State Street in a four-seat Santa Barbara Hot Rod Limo on December 7 will be Reilly, a 4-year-old Dutch Shepherd with partner Ann Mare Cullen, Rica, a 6-year-old German Shepard with partner Sheila Malavasi, MacGyver, a 5-year-old Red-Tri Australian Shepherd with partner Rick Stein, and Mojo, a 10-year-old Border Collie with partner Tracee Walker.

“MacGyver would rather search and play tug than eat,” says Rick Stein. Tracee Walker agrees: “Mojo loves her job – as well as any squeaky toy.” “Rica will do anything for a ball,” says handler Sheila Malavasi. As for Reilly, this one is a “high energy dog bred to work,” says Ann Mare Cullen.

Grand Marshal sponsor this year is Lemos Feed & Pet Supply.

“As our communities continue to heal from the events of this past year, these dogs and their volunteer handlers stand ready to find, render aid and save the lives of those in greatest need. Lemos is thankful for their sacrifice and service, and for the opportunity to support our communities. We are #805strong!,” said Lemos Feed & Pet Supply General Manager Paul Benedix.

The 66th Annual Downtown Santa Barbara Holiday Parade, Presented by Consumer Fire Products Inc., will start at Sola Street and continue down State Street to Cota Street.

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