Maria and Gemini strut down the dogwalk for the Humane Society

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July 22, 2008

NEW YORK -- Maria took her talent to the catwalk, er … dogwalk at Animal Fair's ninth annual Paws for Style fashion show in New York City. The SmackDown Diva and her Chihuahua, Gemini, were among several celebrities and their four-legged pals who walked the red carpet and the runway to help benefit the Humane Society of New York.

"It's amazing to do an event like this to benefit the Humane Society. You know what? These little guys can't take care of themselves, so it's nice to be able to give a little something back," Maria said, petting Gemini, who along with Candice Michelle and her dogs, are featured in the latest issue of Animal Fair.

"The Humane Society does a lot for homeless animals, feeding animals, just taking care of them, so I'm really excited about it. Plus, I get to do a little fashion, and I always love that!" the Diva smiled.

Maria took her keen fashion sense to the runway, modeling her own creation she designed and sewed for herself and Gemini.

"Well, what I'm wearing today is kind of a collaboration of things. I was thinking about circus dogs and circus animals and how fun they are," she explained. "My inspiration was circus dogs and I'm definitely wearing my own design -- I just finished it today!"

Maria and her pooch's couture will be auctioned on eBay, with 100 percent of the proceeds benefiting the Humane Society of New York. Visit eBay to check out the human and animal fashions -- by designers such as Ed Hardy, Marc Jacobs, Badgley Mischka and, of course, Maria.

Celebrities walking the red carpet with the Diva and her favorite dog included Lauren Conrad of MTV's The Hills; Richard Belzer of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, Miss Teen USA Hilary Cruz, Nikki Blonsky of Hairspray, actress and socialite Cornelia Guest, and Ramona and Avery Singer of Bravo's The Real Housewives of New York City.

"I only have one daughter -- this is our other child. She does everything with us. We care for her," said Ramona Singer of her Shih Tzu.

"She needs all of the attention!" chimed in daughter, Avery.

Also in attendance were Wendy and Lucky Diamond, Editor-In-Chief and founder of Animal Fair lifestyle magazine and her rescue Maltese, who is also an Animal Fair columnist. The Diamonds are judges on CBS's new hit reality show, Greatest American Dog.

"First of all, we were the first ever to create the first ever pet fashion show. And we're not promoting pet fashion, we're promoting helping animals. And it's a creative way to promote animal rescue," Diamond told WWE.com.

Diamond, who along with Lucky was dressed in Hale Bob, said she loves WWE, especially for supporting Paws for Style and the Humane Society of New York.

"What's not better to wrestle with than wrestle with your dog?! And we really love WWE because we love Maria -- her outfit is probably the best outfit here!" Diamond said.

As for Conrad, who spoke to WWE.com on the red carpet but mysteriously disappeared before the fashion show inside club Arena in Midtown Manhattan, said she thinks it's important for everyone -- including large organizations such as WWE -- to support Paws for Style.

"There are a lot of charities out there but there are not so many for animals. I have two pets at home that are both rescue animals. I know anyone who's ever been to a pound how sad it is," Conrad said. "I think it's important for anyone to support the charity, especially something as big as WWE."

When asked if she thought she could cut it as a Diva like Maria, Conrad admitted she doesn't think she's tough enough to get in the ring -- although she is a WWE fan.

"I actually have a chair in my house that I took from a front row once -- it was my souvenir!" she said.

For more information on Animal Fair's ninth annual Paws for Style, visit the official Web site. To help the Humane Society of New York, visit humanesocietyny.org. Also, watch an exclusive WWE.com video of Maria at Paws for Style.

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