Local Dog Show Features World’s Only Waga Meter

The Wagapalooza crowd determines which dogs go home as the winners thanks to the world’s only “Waga Meter.”

When the 10th Annual Wagapalooza is hosted on Saturday, May 22, it will feature the world’s only “Waga meter,” which was created to judge audience approval of the show’s nine canine competitions.

Early Wagapaloozas employed conventional voting by a panel of judges. In 2008, the Animal Care Center unveiled its new creation, the waga meter, which measures applause to determine the winners of each show category. This method replaced limiting the judging to a small panel of local celebrities.

Conceived by Jennifer Dale at one of the ACC directors’ meetings, the large device was built under the direction of former ACC President Sheila Karcher in her cabinet-making shop.

Involving a decibel reader, the meter is used to actually measure the sound of the audience clapping. The tail of the dog on the display moves to indicate ratings. The show’s emcee coordinates the readings and announces the votes at the completion of each competition.


The 2010 Wagapalooza will again offer opportunities for dog owners and their dogs to compete in some of the well-loved, non-conventional categories typical of WAGA.

This year’s WAGA co-chairs Monica Munroe and Karin Schlesinger announced that the competitive categories are best old timer; best tail; best puppy love; best spots; best costume; best look alike; best jumper; best lap dog; and best trick.

In addition, in characteristic West Indian style, there will be a King and Queen of the event — that is, a canine King and Queen.

Wagapalooza will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. at the Winston Wells ball field in Cruz Bay. The 5 p.m. start time avoids the heat of the day, offering cooler temperatures for the comfort of dogs and humans.

A special by-product of the after-dark event is the lighting of the Waga Meter—an effect that adds visual interest and contributes to the fun of the quirky dog show.