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|Dog show returns to Monroe; proceeds benefits sheriff's K-9 unit|
Cotton Land Cluster Dog Show will return to Monroe Aug. 29-Sept. 1 for its 36th annual showing.
The event is expected to bring a $2 million economic impact to the region.
Local officials are out in full force promoting the event and encouraging residents to participate. The event will be held at the Monroe Civic Center.
"One good thing about this show is it's been bringing money into northeast Louisiana for 36 years," said Ouachita Parish Royce Toney, who is helping promote the dog show.
"We're estimating the financial impact of this show will be $2.2 million," Toney said. "Another good thing for the sheriff's office is the gate proceeds go to our k-9 unit."
"That helps our citizens and our taxpayers and helps us with our dog training, purchasing dogs, pet bills and kennels," Toney explained. "It's quite expensive. The dogs are well over $5,000 each."
Toney said use of K-9 units helps cut down on fatalities since officers typically do not have to shoot at a suspect when they send a dog after one. The dogs also help protect their handlers when they are called in to deal with criminal activity.
"The dogs are the ones we send in to dangerous situations, and they catch a lot of bad people," Toney continued. "It saves the taxpayers a lot of money and they're a tremendous asset to law enforcement. Many of them are trained to find drugs. We've had large drug seizures where a large amount of money has been seized, which have helped the taxpayers of Ouachita Parish, too.
"This dog show is a win-win for everyone and we encourage people to come out and view it. This is going to be the cream of the crop of dogs from all over the United States."
Toney said dog handlers from all over the country will attend the show in Monroe, stay in the hotels, eat at restaurants and shop at local stores.
The sheriff's K-9 units will be at the show performing security duties so local residents will get to see them in action, too.
"We'll have a presence there," Toney said.
Alana Cooper, executive director of the Monroe-West Monroe Convention and Visitors Bureau, added, "If you like dogs and watch Westminster (Dog Show in New York) some of the dogs here will go on to Westminster. It's fun to come out and watch and try and pick which one will win."
She said the dog breeders who attend the Cotton Land Cluster Dog Show always are excited to talk to others about their dogs.
"You can learn a lot about dogs from them," she said.
She also encourages the community to participate in the event.
"We want to keep them coming back year after year," she said.