Walking the dog for PAWS

Published 8:47 am Tuesday, June 8, 2010

AHOSKIE – Peace, love and rescue…the theme behind PAWS Fest 2010 sent a simple, but stern, message.

Under bright, sunny skies and unseasonably hot temperatures, PAWS of Hertford County did their best to provide some cooling relief here Saturday by engaging the public and their pets in numerous activities to take their minds off the heat.

It worked as a great crowd was on hand to enjoy PAWS Fest 2010, an event held at the Town of Ahoskie’s all-purpose field located adjacent to the town’s gym.

“This was a first-time event for us and it really exceeded all of our expectations,” said PAWS volunteer JoAnn Jones. “We were extremely pleased with the participation and the turnout…it was great, even with the hot weather.”

Jones added that from a financial standpoint, PAWS Fest hit a homerun.

“This will prove to be our biggest fundraiser ever,” she noted. “We’ve been extremely blessed over the years to have the backing of numerous sponsors and they stepped it up this year. Plus we were very fortunate on Saturday to generate additional funds from PAWS Fest that will really help our cause, that of protecting animals worth saving.”

Saturday’s event was packed with activities, including a 3K Dog Walk from where pledges were received that benefit PAWS of Hertford County as they continue their effort to promote the welfare of domestic animals, including an adoption program and a spay and neuter program, one that helps address the overpopulation of dogs and cats.

Other events included dog shows and contests, demonstrations (dog training, therapy dog info, agility, etc.), pony rides, raffles, wood work, a rabies vaccination clinic, microchipping clinic (helps get your lost dog or cat home), “PupParazzi” (photos of dogs with their owners), concessions and, of course, a variety of pets looking for a new home through adoption.

Pet contests were held for the Best Kisser, Cutest Puppy Butt and Best Trick.

The event also featured an “In the Doghouse” tent. There, Murfreesboro attorney Thomas Jones Jr. played the role of the judge, charging “victims” with fun-type crimes and imposing a bond. That money benefits PAWS of Hertford County.

Local DJ Christopher Burke provided the music throughout the day while a local listing of celebrities took turns in the dunking booth….a nice treat on a hot day.

“There were many beautiful, healthy and happy families in attendance on Saturday, some bringing their pets, others just coming out in support of PAWS,” Jones noted. “Everyone had a great time.”

She continued, “This would not have been possible without the efforts put forth by the Town of Ahoskie and the Ahoskie Police Department. There are some great people working with this town, you can sense their caring attitude by just being around them.”

Jones also saluted her colleagues at PAWS of Hertford County.

“There’s not much this group of volunteers cannot do,” she concluded. “They meet a challenge head on and get the job done. Saturday was just another example of the hard work put forth by these volunteers and they do it with just one thing in mind, that of the welfare of our furry four-legged companions.”