Sampson County 4-H’ers are looking forward to bonding through their four-legged buddies.
The first meeting for a new club was held Wednesday evening at the Sampson County Center for Cooperative Extension. Its purpose is to serve new owners or young people who are already pet owners. During the year, members may have the opportunity to participate in community service projects related to dogs and preparing for shows. At some point, a veterinarian will visit the club along with other officials. Some of the other interest included obedience training and tracking.
Ayden Ruggles showed a lot of interest about police dog training. The local youth also came up with ideas about helping the community by selling snacks at shows. He enjoys spending time with his dogs at home.
“They can be very loyal and very protective,” Ruggles said. “If you pet them, they can actually help you calm down.”
Genny Thompson, extension agent for 4-H Youth Development, said she excited about the club and wants to see it takeoff.
“I’m hoping that it’ll benefit the community of Clinton and Sampson,” Thompson said. “I would like to see more youths become a part of this club. Dogs are a part of their world. I think it’s going to be really beneficial.”
Alton Thornton Jr. would like to see more youths from Sampson and nearby counties involved with the club too. He’ll be assisting with showmanship, upkeep and the health.
“It keeps kid active in something productive, instead of doing something else that will get them in trouble,” Thornton said.
Thornton spoke about club members participating in an event hosted by Duplin County Coon Hunters Association in Kenansville. The organization is sanctioned by the United Kennel Club, a dog registry with associates from all 50 states and more than 20 foreign countries.
Currently, the club is open to ages 5 to 18 and members are required to join 4-H. If interested applicants are not 4-H members they can join the organization with assistance from extension officials or online at www.goo.gl/VDP6Bt.
The next meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 19 at the Sampson County Center’s Livestock Facility Conference Room, 55 Agriculture Place, Clinton. Thompson and club members are requesting that anyone with interest to RSVP before the meeting for food accommodations. For more information, contact Thompson at 910-592-7161. Officials may also be reached through Sampson County 4-H page at www.goo.gl/Fo378w.
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.