Uggie Steals the Show at Pet Night on the Hill

Posted September 20, 2012 at 8:31pm

Two famous, four-legged movie stars descended on Capitol Hill on tonight for the 16th annual Animal Health Institute Pet Night, mugging for the camera and doling out kisses to excited Hill staffers and Members who attended the event.

Uggie, the wiry Jack Russell terrier famous for his role in the Oscar-winning film “The Artist,” donned a dapper tuxedo and basked in the attention of the adoring crowd. He also kept a watchful eye on Tennessee, a black-and-white cat who played Buttercup in “The Hunger Games,” who was more eager to explore the Cannon Caucus Room than she was to play with her canine counterpart.

Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.), a veterinarian by trade and owner of two dogs, a cat and four sheep, made an appearance, saying that caring for animals is an issue with bipartisan support in this divided Washington political landscape.

“The idea of supporting our four-legged friends reaches great and small,” Schrader said. “I’m a firm believer that our job is to help protect and care for them, whether they are in the farm or the home.”

Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.) brought along Lilly, his 6-month-old French bulldog. Denham, Lilly and Uggie bonded through a group photo.

“It’s pretty obvious I’m a pet lover, and I knew Lilly would enjoy it as well,” Denham said.

Omar von Muller, Uggie’s owner and trainer, said this was the 10-year-old dog’s first trip to Capitol Hill. Earlier in the day, Uggie met Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.), who took a picture with the now-retired acting dog on the steps of the Capitol.

“We took some pictures around,” von Muller said, adding that Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) also ran into Uggie during a tour and also got their picture taken together. “Everybody recognized him outside and everybody wanted pictures.”