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Sheriff's Department to host fundraiser

LAWRENCEVILLE - The Sheriff's Department has gone to the dogs, and it's looking for the best one.

Lickers, sniffers, mutts and purebreds are all wanted at Lenora Park in Snellville on Saturday for the department's first Deputy Dawg Paws for the Cause dog show, pet parade and dog contest, Gwinnett County Sheriff Butch Conway said.

"We hope the community will support us for this event, and we look forward to seeing everyone there," Conway said. "I expect a really good turnout."

Conway said the event is an effort to raise money for the American Cancer Society's Gwinnett Relay for Life - a community fundraiser in May aimed at raising money for cancer research.

Department employees are part of a team for the May 11-12 relay event at the Gwinnett County Fairgrounds, Conway said.

"We're doing this because it's a great cause and a worthy cause," Conway said. "We've been involved with Relay for Life for many years."

The weekend event will begin at 11 a.m. with a parade led by Conway and his dog, J.P. - a white and tan pit bull mix he rescued in New Orleans when local law enforcement helped with Katrina efforts.

Conway, along with Randy Travis of Fox 5 News and Rachel Kim of WSB-TV News, will judge two contests, giving awards for the cutest puppy face, friendliest dog, best looking purebred, most unusual mix and more.

"We'll be judging best dressed, best kisser - I think J.P. will win that one - biggest dog, smallest dog and there'll be a rescue contest," Conway said.

Stacey Bourbonnais, a Sheriff's Department spokeswoman, said the department was able to raise more than $18,000 for the cancer cause with other fundraisers last year.

"We hope to surpass that goal this year," Bourbonnais said. "Fighting cancer is worth all our efforts."

Bourbonnais said there is a $5 admission fee per person and a $5 fee per pet. A $1 fee per pet is required for the parade and $5 for each pet to enter the contests. She said pet owners can still register their dogs as they enter the park Saturday.

Bourbonnais said proceeds will be given to the American Cancer Society.