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July 31, 2011: Mutt's Day

July 31 has gone to the dogs.

Big or small, tails stubby or long, ears pointy or droopy, mutts come in varieties as endless as their loyalty. It's said that every dog has its day - now mutts have theirs on July 31.

To celebrate Mutt's Day, here are five fun facts:

1. Benji is one of the most famous mutts in the world - more than a billion people have watched a Benji movie on TV. Throughout the years the role has been filled by four different dogs. The original Benji was adopted from the Burbank Animal Shelter, with Benjis two and three being relatives. After a country-wide search, the current Benji was adopted from the Humane Society of South Mississippi.

2. Mixed-breed dogs can now be awarded their very own rosettes.  Scruffts, the UK's alternative to the purebreed-only Crufts competiton, was launched in 2000.

3. Mr. Winkle is a mutt who is also an international sensation. Why? He is just too cute! Looking like a cross between a teddy bear and a puppy, he always seems to have his tongue playfully hanging out. It's no wonder why Mr. Winkle is the star of several books and calendars.

4. The comic strip Mutts was created in 1994 by Patrick McDonnell and features a mutt named Earl, who is based on McDonnell's own dog. It now runs in 700 newspapers in 20 countries. Mutts has also been published in seventeen compilation books in the U.S.

5. Ready to adopt? Animal Control Centers in , , , and Manchester and the can match you with a lovable mutt in desperate need of a good home.

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