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Charlotte, NC— ZANE, a two year-old Belgian Malinois, whose owner says he is “well-behaved and full of energy” has been chosen as winner of Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department’s 2010 Top Dog Photo Contest. The winning photo shows Zane to be black and tan and very alert. Zane is owned by Aaron Ammar of Charlotte.

Zane won the contest based on a public drawing by Park and Recreation officials after the results of online voting were unfairly skewed by automated voting programs, apparently initiated by mischief-makers.

The drawing was among three finalists--Conan, McKinley and Zane--chosen for cleverness and originality by a panel of judges from 75 entries. The contest is a preliminary to the Pedigree® Bark in the Park Dog Festival presented by Food Lion. This is a signature event of Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department on Saturday, April 24, 10am-4pm at Metrolina Expo, 7100 Statesville Road (off Sunset Road, exit 16 off I-77). Metrolina Expo has plenty of space and free parking. It drew high praise last year from people who attended. Admission is FREE for dogs and people.

The Top Dog and master will be the grand marshals of the Pooch Parade of Adoptable Dogs at Bark in the Park and will receive a pet portrait by Tianna Fisher, a year’s supply of dog food, plus the dog will be poster dog for next year’s festival logo. Bark in the Park is “for dogs and the people they own!”

The Pedigree® Bark in the Park Dog Festival presented by Food Lion drew 14,500 people last year, most with dogs. The festival features contests like Best Costume, Best Bark, Largest Dog, Smallest Dog, Best Trick, Disc Throw and Catch, and Disc Long-Shot Catch. Register for contests at the festival. Included this year will be exhibits, dog products, adoptable dogs, prize drawings and many great dogs to see and greet! All dogs please bring your owners on a leash! For more information, check or call 311.