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Rotary Sets Dog Extravaganza to Support K9 Teams

June 22, 2004 – Cool Dog Contest, Coconut Retrieval Contest, Doggie Nail Painting, Look Alike Contest, Stupid Pet Tricks, Best "Rescued" Dog Contest, Microchipping; are a few of the events planned for Paws 4 Paradise, Rotary Club of St. Croix’s Dog Extravaganza on July 18.
According to a press release from event organizers, "The purpose of all this doggie (and people) fun is to raise funds for the training and operation of four K9 search and rescue teams for St. Croix Rescue."
The K9 rescue teams will be of assistance in such events as when seniors have wandered off and can’t remember how to get home; children or pets are lost or taken.
Rescue has been in training with Elroy Moorehead since January and will be doing more in depth training in July with Harry Oakes of International K9 Search and Rescue. There are four K9 teams that will be available to help in St. Croix, the Virgin Islands and if needed the wider Caribbean.
The cost per team, which includes but is not limited to training, equipment, food, medical expenses and uniforms is approximately $5,000. St. Croix Rescue will also need to have funds available to travel where their assistance is needed.
Rotary President David Beck said that his club members saw a need for K9 teams here in the Virgin Islands. "We have seen time and again on television, every disaster the K9 teams going in to help find victims that people and technology could not. News stories report how K9 teams find missing children, seniors and beloved pets. This is a project we are very excited about. To be able to get help to someone, to find them more rapidly, could and often does save lives."
St. Croix Rescue Chief Gregory Richards was also quoted in the press release. He said," We have a good group of rescue personal training with their dogs. The teams will be a great asset to St. Croix, the VI and the Caribbean."
According to Beck a dog extravaganza seemed like the perfect way to raise funds for this project. "We want everyone to have a great time, we have plenty of events planned and a great location – the Department of Agriculture Fairs Grounds."
The event will begin at 10 a.m.
Other activities include a dog parade for children under 12 and their dogs, K9 team demonstration and graduation, protection dog demonstration, dogs in disasters training, rib check (to see if your dog is overweight), agility demonstration, and kid’s art contests.
Rotary is asking for sponsors for the event. All sponsors are asked to provide banners or flags that will be used to delineate the competition areas
Sponsorship include:
Irish Wolfhound $10,000, main event sponsors. They will be mentioned in all advertising, banners, flags and will be judges.
Golden Retriever, direct sponsor of search and rescue teams (funds go directly to teams) $5,000. They will be mentioned in all advertising, logo on team uniform, banners, flags and will be judges.
Rottweiler $2,500. They will be mentioned in all print advertising, banners, flags and will be judges
Border Collie $1,000. They will be mentioned in banners and flags.
Bulldog $500. They will be mentioned in banners and flags.
Chinese Shar pei $250. They will be mentioned in banners and flags. Chihuahua $100. They will be mentioned in banners.
The club is also asking for donations of goods and services including; airfare for trainer Harry Oakes, poster and flyer printing, t-shirts, caps, gift bags for children’s parade, gift bags for kid’s art contest and prizes for contests.
Beck said, "It is our Rotary Club’s hope that you will never need the assistance of the St. Croix Rescue’s K9 Search and Rescue Teams. It is also our hope that the Virgin Islands will support this effort so the teams will be prepared and have adequate equipment when our community is in need."
For information or to contribute ideas to make the extravaganza better call 771-4420 or 771-0671. There are spaces available for vendors. Interested vendors should call 277-7654.

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