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El Paso couple staging ‘Paw-rade’ for their beloved Goldendoodle to raise money for Animal Rescue League

EL PASO, Texas-- You've seen people celebrating their birthdays during the Covid-19 pandemic with drive-by parades.

Well, one El Paso couple is celebrating their fur-baby's birthday with a special "paw-rade."

But it's a lot more than a celebration: it's a way to give back to his furry peers.

"We actually rescued him about a year ago here in El Paso. He belonged to a military family that had to move on and we were very fortunate to find him," said Ernesto Hernandez, owner of Phoenix, the Goldendoodle.

Phoenix turns two years old in about two weeks and Ernesto and his husband, Ernesto Diaz, are celebrating in a very special way.

"We decided, "Let's pay it forward," and we thought the Animal Rescue League would be the best place to do that for," Hernandez said.

Since the start of the pandemic, the Animal Rescue League of El Paso has been lacking supplies for their shelter pets.

"We're having a hard time getting Clorox wipes," said Lorreta Hyde, kennel manager at the Animal Rescue League of El Paso. "We can't find disinfectant and if we do, we have to get one bottle at a time. I have reached out to different companies and their prices are like triple what we would pay at Sam's or whatever. So disinfectant and things like that are truly needed."

So Phoenix is asking his fur friends to join him for a drive-by honk and wave paw-rade to help the Animal Rescue League.

"We decided to kind of do a drive and drop off. We're asking people to bring a small donation of their choice and in turn we're going to celebrate with them and provide some pup cakes for their fur babies and some treats for their humans," Hernandez said.

Donations can range from canned dog food for puppies to cleaning supplies.

"Disinfecting items, mops, brooms, hand sanitizer, toilet paper, paper towels," Hernandez said.

For Hernandez and his husband, using this as a way to give back to the community is something they are both proud to do.

"It's heartwarming. It's also really good to see other people in the community come forward and join and pay it forward because that's the most important thing during this time."

Phoenix's "Drive By Honk & Wave Paw-rade" will be Saturday July 18th from 6 to 7 p.m. at 9016 El Dorado.

If you're not able to make the celebration, you can always donate items for the Animal Rescue League by clicking on their website: http://arlep.org/pages/

And if you would like to keep up with Phoenix and his amazing El Paso adventures, you can follow him on Instagram: @ _phoenix_the_doodle

El Paso

Iris Lopez

Iris Lopez is a weathercaster and reporter for ABC-7.

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