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The Bladen County Animal Control Advisory Board wants to build a new exercise area for the animals at the Bladen County Animal Shelter. The local group organized the first Pet Palooza for Bladen County to help raise funds for the exercise area.

The event was held Friday, June 16th, from 5:30 p.m. until 9 p.m. at the National Guard Armory in Elizabethtown. The fundraiser included a ribbon cutting ceremony at the new dog park located in Lloyd Park to honor Dr. Samuel Ray Cross, DDS, PA and his wife, Mrs. Denise Cross.

Several elected officials and dignitaries were in attendance. Town of Elizabethtown Manager Eddie Madden explained to those gathered that due to the donation of land from Dr. and Mrs. Cross along with others, the vision of the dog park has become a reality.

Mrs. Cross said, “We both are excited for the growth at the animal shelter as advocates for animals. We are pleased to be able to help out with this event.”

Dr. Cross and Mrs. Cross with the Barking Lot were two of the top sponsors of the Pet Palooza as well as Cape Fear Heating & Cooling, BladenOnline.com, Kuraray America, Inc., A Shelter Friend, and The Kim Family.

Sgt. Clark and his K-9, named Jax, with the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office, did a live demonstration for the large audience at the Palooza. Clark displayed the talents Jax has for finding drugs.

Clark told the folks in attendance tax dollars did not pay for Jax, but private donations did. Also, Jax has already made the county $50,000, according to Clark.

Vendors, food, drinks, a silent auction and pet contests held the crowds attention until the band, “The Loose Floorboards” hit the stage. The vendors: Norwex, Bladen Animal Hospital, Cape Fear Parrot Sanctuary, Barking Lot, Bladen Storage Solutions, Sharonview, LuLa Ra, Haley’s Closet and other vendors, all said they did well and would be back to support the event again next year.

Some of the advisory board members organizing the event said it may not have been the best day to hold the fundraiser with the stormy weather, graduation and other things going on in the community, but it was still a good event. The total amount raised after cost was over $4,000.

Mike Jackson, Chairman of the committee said, “We want to thank everyone for the great response and we look forward to next year’s event.” He continued, “We want this event to grow as big as the love a pet owner has for their pet.”

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