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2006 News from Mecklenburg County


March 22, 2006

APRIL 22: THOUSANDS OF DOGS AND THEIR OWNERS EXPECTED FOR HARRIS TEETER/PURINA® "BARK IN THE PARK" DOG FESTIVAL

Charlotte, NC - The second annual Harris Teeter/Purina® "Bark in the Park" dog festival invites "dogs and the people they own" to McAlpine Creek Park, 8711 Monroe Road, on April 22, 2006. The festival runs 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. at and near the dog park known as Ray's Fetching Meadow. Last year, this event drew 6,000 people.

The event is free to dogs and people. Jay Stutz, host of Good Dog U on TV's Animal Planet, returns as a special guest this year. The Purina® Incredible Dog Team will perform unusual feats of canine intelligence and athletic prowess. Festivities kick-off at 10 a.m. with celebrities galore. Club K-9 of Charlotte will join in. Carolina Panther Dan Morgan and former Panther Will Witherspoon are expected to sign autographs. There will be many contests such as: Most Unique Dog, Best Dressed Dog, Best Dog Trick, Biggest/Smallest Dog, and Best Pet/Owner Look Alike.

The winning canine in the 2006 Harris Teeter/ Purina® Bark in the Park Top Dog Photo Contest will also be honored. The Top Dog and his owner will be grand marshals of the Pooch Parade. The finalist will be honored as well. First prize is a commissioned portrait valued at more than $3,000 by nationally known local artist Mark Durham, plus a Harris Teeter/Purina® prize pack. Contestants need to pay a $12 entry fee and submit a 4" X 5" photo of their dog by March 28. A panel of judges selects three finalists and the general public will vote for the Top Dog on www.parkandrec.com , which displays rules.

This festival includes vendors and exhibits of doggie products with free samples. Harris Teeter will display their recently introduced line of "yourpet" dog products. Their Ranchermobile and will sell refreshments. Proceeds from the Harris Teeter/Purina® Bark in the Park festival go toward future off-leash dog parks. Mecklenburg County has three dog parks now with more in the works. The festival contributes to animal adoption and rescue.

"Pooch Passes" for Mecklenburg County dog parks will also be on sale with proof of current vaccinations - $35/year for Mecklenburg residents, $50/year for non residents. Dog parks, operated by Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department, are a popular place for dogs to run free and frolic in fenced meadows and woodlands.



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