The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

Local News

November 16, 2012

On the Square’s ‘Eat, Drink, Bid’ benefits Wags4Tags Sunday

TARBORO — On Sunday, local and area residents will have the opportunity to spend an evening tasting wine and enjoying hors d'oeuvres before participating in a silent auction to raise money to benefit a program designed to help veterans as well as rescuing homeless dogs from being euthanized.

That’s because Tarboro’s On the Square is partnering with Wags4Tags to give persons the opportunity to eat, drink and bid. The event, which will be held from 6-8 p.m. Sunday, is sponsored by O’Malley Tunstall PLLC.

Wags4Tags is no stranger to Tarboro, having been in the community as recently as Happening on the Common, and works to place veterans who have left active with a dog that would otherwise be euthanized.

Both steps are important and complement one another, as North Carolina has the third highest military population in the nation and also has the highest pet kill rate in the nation.

Additionally, there are now more soldiers killing themselves than being killed in action.

Ronnie Sadoski, himself a veteran, explained that Wags4Tags rescues dogs from kill shelters, trains them as companion or emotional support dogs and gives them to our combat veterans suffering from PTSD, TBI and other "invisible" injuries which in turn, leads to a higher risk of violence.

Sadoski noted that, according to the Pentagon, from January-July of this year, 124 military were been killed in action while 154 committed suicide.

The program offers free services to veterans and relies on fundraisers, sponsorships, grants and donations.

Wags4Tags identifies dogs that could be trained to serve as a companion and works to match them with veterans. Once a match is determined, the dog is put through an extensive training program so they are ready to meet whatever needs — companion support or emotional support — the veteran may have.

Sadoski, who served six years in the United States Army, said Sadie, his 6-year-old German Shepherd, has helped him with his PTSD: “I can sleep at night because I know Sadie is there looking out for me. What’s more, she not only pulls me out of my nightmares (literally) and like my Guardian, checks on me throughout the night.”

Tickets to Eat, Drink & Bid are $10 in advance and $15 at the door and all proceeds benefit Wags4Tags. For more information, call (919) 522-0575.

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