8th Annual Walk and Wag Hosts Rice Festival Dog Show

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By Jeff Dennis

Dog enthusiasts had a double dip of outdoors fun on Saturday, October 9th while supporting the Friends of Colleton County Animal Shelter (FoCCAS). Not only was it the 8th annual Walk and Wag fundraiser, it was also the make-up date for the Rice Festival Dog Show that was canceled due to Covid-19. After a rainy start at daybreak on Saturday, the weather allowed for registration to open right on schedule at 9:30 a.m., and both events were held at the Walterboro Wildlife Center for the very first time.

Several local businesses set up booths in the parking lot and were on site during the parade of dogs through the Walterboro Wildlife Sanctuary and the 2 p.m. raffle drawings. The amphitheater at the Walterboro Wildlife Center was decorated with doggie themed balloons and Fall harvest flowers. The dog show began at 10 a.m. and all participants were judged in different categories like cutest puppy and most obedient. Colorful ribbons with Rice Festival insignia were given to the winners. There was even a costume contest for dogs, which really seemed to bring out the involvement from kids helping to show their dogs.

The category for most photogenic dog was actually completed online on the FoCCAS FaceBook page before Saturday so that the public could vote for the winners.

A handsome chocolate lab named Levi collected 165 votes to win first place for Most Photogenic Dog. Owner Ricki Sheffield brought Levi on Saturday to collect their ribbon and to pose for lots and lots of photos.

A free hot dog lunch after the dog show was followed by a visit form the Pelican Snowballs food truck. Participants used this time to visit with one another, and let their pets say hello to other friendly dog owners. The FoCCAS fundraiser included T-shirt sales and raffle prizes for cash and dog-related gifts. Janice Long won the $500 cash raffle, Mackenzie Morehead won the dog welcome sign and Haidyn Bishop guessed the correct number of dog bones in a mystery container. At the end of the day over $12,000 was raised to benefit the animals of Colleton County at the Animal Shelter.

Students from Colleton County High School and Colleton Prep Academy were present all day, helping to set up in the morning, and then clean up in the afternoon. “These students will receive credit at school for volunteering with us, and we are so glad to add their youthful enthusiasm to Walk and Wag,” said Audra Hudson. “We continue to celebrate the Animal Shelter’s success, and remain committed that it can be a bright spot for Colleton County. Our next event is a Cat-A-Thon at Bee City on Saturday, October 23rd from 11 to 3 and we will be offering half-price adoption fees.”

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