Music for the Pets

by Jun 14, 2024Animals, Nonprofits, Online Exclusives, South Brunswick

Paws-Ability holds its 7th annual BandFest to raise money for the animals of Brunswick County.

Sunshine and coastal temperatures brought more than 2,500 people to Sunset Beach Town Park on June 2 for the annual Paws-Ability Bandfest.

Anita August, president of the Paws-Ability board, told the crowd the 501(c)(3)nonprofit is an all-volunteer organization.

“We pay no staff,” she said. “Everyone of us is out here working on our own time. I am proud to say that $.94 of every dollar we make goes right to the animals. We have no overhead. We’re not wasting a single penny. We’re putting all money toward helping animals in this community.”

paws ability volunteers

Sheriff Brian Chism, a native of Brunswick County, thanked Paws-Ability for all they do for the sheriff’s department.

“They help us do our job and do it effectively,” he said. “In 2012 when we took over the shelter, it had a 17 percent live release rate. We are now at 85 percent release rate, and our goal is to get to 90 percent. We could not give back to the community what we do without the volunteers.”

The featured pet at the event was Max, a 6-year-old mixed breed with severe skin issues that require a special diet and medications. Paws-Ability requested sponsors to contribute to his care.

Hundreds of visitors brought their pets, who appeared to enjoy the festivities and make friends just as their owners did.

“I come every year,” said Dan Roberts of Carolina Shores. He brought year-old mixed breed, Lulu. “She’s 24 percent super mutt,” he said and laughed. “She’s absolutely the sweetest pet. She wants to please.”

Dan Roberts with Lulu Donna Sikorsky with Harper

When Donna Sikorsky of Carolina Shores walked by with 6-month-old Harper, a pure-breed French bulldog, Lulu rushed to make friends. “I love dogs,” Sikorsky said. “I would have 10 of them if I could.”

Kim Sager, a hygienist at Sunset Dental in Sunset Beach, brought Daisy Mae, her 3-year-old, 80-pound Labradoodle. “She’s fun loving and energetic,” Sager said. Daisy Mae’s previous owner passed away, and Sager got her a few days before Christmas that year when the pet was 8 months old.

Trish Kelley, executive director of Cat Tails in Ocean Isle Beach, held 2-month-old Sandy, a female calico. “We’ve had four adoptions so far,” she said two hours into Bandfest.

Trish Kelley Cat Tails

Food trucks and beverage vendors, including Blondiez Donuts, Tasty Tee’s Snack Shack and Bimini’s Oyster Bar and Seafood Market, Makai Brewing Company and Wine & Curios, were some of the food and drink vendors on hand. More than 50 vendors displayed jewelry, jams, pet apparel, clothing, scenic photographs and many more items. The popular Sea & Sand Band began the music program then Julio and the Saltines followed.

Christine Cameron Buster

A new procedure this year was that people chose their own raffle items. Tickets were $5 each or three for $10. Among the choices were North Carolina lottery tickets, a rocker recliner, a kayak tour, a pontoon boat rental, adventure tours and a Planet Fun membership. Sheri Mitchell of Ocean Isle Beach won a pet stroller. Mitchell said she adopted 9-year-old Biscuit, a Chihuahua/Jack Russell terrier mix, a year and a half ago.

Micki Gajderowicz of Calabash brought her two miniature Goldendoodles, Little Bear and Teddie-Oso, both 6 years old.

“They are each other’s best friends, but they are not related,” Gajderowicz said. “I’ve had them since they were eight weeks old. I try to bring them to every Paws-Ability event.”

Micki Gajderowicz with minature goldendoodles

Kathy Marriott of Carolina Shores brought Dutch, 7, her chocolate Pomeranian and said she comes to Paws-Ability Bandfest every year. “I like the music the best,” she said.

Carol King of Carolina Shores brought her rescue pet Izzy, 9, a Labrador retriever/golden retriever mix. “It’s the first time I’ve come here,” she said. “I love the music, the dogs and the people who pet Izzy as they go along. That’s very nice.”

August said the 2024 event was their biggest and best Bandfest ever. “We thank the community for all their support. Since COVID, we’re helping four times as many animals as we used to,” she said.

More Information:
(910) 269-6885
Brunswick County Sheriff’s Animal Protective Services
429 Green Swamp Road, Supply
(910) 754-8204