More funds raised at fifth annual Pet Expo

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COLUMBIA - The fifth annual Pet Expo was held at Stephens Lake Park today as owners and dogs of all breeds, shapes and sizes flocked to the park. 

Activities for the day included treat sampling, games, photo opportunities and, for the fourth straight year, a 5k walk/run race. Treats Unleashed sponsored the event with all proceeds going towards No Kill Columbia, a low-cost spay-neuter clinic. 

"The clinic has performed almost 6,000 surgeries," said Jill McReynolds, a member of the No Kill Columbia board of directors. "At one point, surgeries were suspended for three months because our last vet took a position with the university's vet school. My favorite part of the expo is seeing all of the people with their dogs."

No Kill Columbia encourages pet owners to get their pets vaccinated, spayed, neutered and macro-chipped at a lower cost with the hope that it can be done more frequently. 

Treats Unleashed store manager Tawny Baker looks forward to this event every year. This is Baker's first year spear-heading the expo and her store, and she feels blessed to be working with a great support staff and community. 

"I've had great support," Baker said. "We couldn't do it without the community's support either; we have a wonderful community."

Baker looks forward to the expo every year because of the great cause and funds it provides for No Kill Columbia. 

"We've just continued (this event) every year because we raise so much funds for (No Kill Columbia)," Baker said. "It really helps them provide the services that they want to provide."