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Pets on Patrol Pageant raises funds for APD's K9 program


Courtesy Photo

Arlington Police officer Kendahl Beecher, left, and her narcotic dog Tara meet members of the community.

The Arlington "Pets on Patrol Pet Pageant" will be an opportunity for locals to show off their pets while contributing to the Arlington Police Department's K9 program.

The pageant will be held on May 19 at Legion Park at 114 N. Olympic Ave., Arlington.

It is happening at the same time as the Spring into Summer Health and Safety Fair at the park.

Registration begins at noon. The pageant is expected to begin at 1 p.m. and last to around 2:30 p.m.

The event is co-hosted by the Stilly Valley Chamber of Commerce and local community members.

"We're doing a pet pageant to raise money for our K9 unit," said Kim Casteel, the community support volunteer for the Arlington Police Department's K9 unit.

The K9 unit includes two dogs, Oso and Tara, which support Arlington police officers.

"All the proceeds will go to fund the needs, supplies and equipment of the K9 unit," said Casteel.

This is the first time this event has been put on. Community members wanted to create something fun to raise funds for the K9 unit.

"We were trying to think of creative ways to be involved with the community and raise funds for the program," said Casteel.

"So we wanted to do something fun and we thought 'why don't we put on a pet pageant,'" she said.

There will be three categories at the event: best pet owner look-a-like, best costume and best trick.

"Any pet can be entered as long as it is tame," said Casteel, so the event isn't just for the dogs.

Six judges from the community will decide on the winners.

"We're hoping to use the new stage at Legion Park," said Casteel, which is expected to be finished by the time the pageant is held.

The department currently has two dogs for its K9 program, "which is great for a town of our size," said Casteel.

Oso is a narcotics dog and a tracking dog. "He has helped apprehend a lot of bad guys," said Casteel.

Tara is the newer of the two dogs and is strictly a narcotics dog. "She is coming along nicely and has even made a couple of notable busts," said Casteel.

In addition to helping in drug busts and to track suspects, the dogs are also a great way that police officers can connect with Arlington youth, said Casteel.

"Kids are starting to recognize them on the street. They know the officers and the dogs by their names," she said.

The event is being sponsored by Skookum Brewery, Co-Op Supply, NOAH and the 172nd Street Safeway.

If it goes well officials are hoping to make it an annual event.

Registration for the event is also available online at


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