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Two BARL dogs win state calendar honor

Brookhaven Animal Rescue League’s Rocko and Paco are famous – atleast for shelter dogs they are.

The two lab-mix dogs, which BARL workers are almost positive arebrothers, won the 2008 Mississippi Spay and Neuter Pet CalendarContest by a landslide. The contest, Mississippi Spay And Neuter,allowed people to enter pictures of pets for consideration and thenvote on them on the agency’s Web site.

BARL spokesperson Beth Adcock said she let her husband Rustychoose which animals to enter, and it was an easy choice forhim.

“They’re two of his favorites,” she said. “He thinks they’re thebest-looking dogs out there, because they’ve got great form,they’re a beautiful color, and they’ve got terrific personalities.They are wonderful dogs.”

Rocko and Paco received 737 votes, while the next photo in linerecorded only 399 votes. Adcock said while they don’t know exactlywhat all winning entails, they do know that the two caninecelebrities will be somewhere in the calendar.

“They haven’t said what the prize is. I’m hoping we’ll be thecover photo, but of course either way, we know we’re in thecalendar,” she said.

An MS-SPAN spokesperson was unavailable for comment.

Beth Adcock said there were several local BARL supporters whocame through for Paco and Rocko, including their first fosterfamily. Adcock said BARL folks were on the phone to friends down tothe zero hour, soliticiting votes for their favorite canines.

“Kay Kay Travis was the one who fostered Rocko and Paco forabout a month, and she and her husband Dalton were two of the onesthat were hitting the phone lines at midnight,” she said. “Rustyasked them if they were doing a telethon for them.”

The dogs came to BARL as puppies, and are close to a year oldnow. Adcock said they arrived within a day of each other, andcircumstances seemed to point to their being litter mates.

“Paco actually showed up at the adoption center first when apoliceman found him by the ballfield and brought him to us,” shesaid. “We had some room at that time, so we took him, and the nextday a dog that looked just like him showed up near one of the vets’offices.”

She said both puppies, besides looking alike, had mange.

“We decided they must be siblings since they were the same ageand looked alike and had all the same health problems,” shesaid.

But the two dogs have grown beyond the two little abandoned andsickly puppies that came to BARL last year. Besides being calendarcover dog models, twins Rocko and Paco do have their own individualpersonalities as well.

“Paco is definitely more active than Rocko,” Adcock said. “Rockolikes to lay around, and he’s bigger than Paco.”

She said Paco is more playful than Rocko, though they’re bothbig fans of chew toys and rawhide bones.

“As puppies they played all the time. We had this doghouse thatwas open at both ends and they’d chase each other through thedoghouse,” she said. “They like to play and chew on rawhides andsqueaky toys, Paco more than Rocko.”

Rocko may be spending his time dwelling on deeper matters,however. He was the BARL representative at the Episcopal Church ofthe Redeemer’s Blessing of the Animals.

Adcock said while Rocko and Paco have been together since theywere puppies, that they can be adopted separately or together.

“They would do fine together or apart,” she said. “Just like allsiblings they squabble over same toy and stuff, but we’d definitelyadopt them separately or as a pair.”

BARL also entered two cats, Phoebe and Nelson, in the calendarcontest. The cats didn’t fare as well as their canine counterparts,but Nelson has since found a home. Phoebe, a black and white cat,is still waiting to find a family.

The calendar can be ordered at www.msspan.org, and all the moneygoes to the Mississippi Spay and Neuter program. Dec. 28 is thedeadline to order a calendar.

Adcock said BARL representatives are happy to promote thecalendar because any money that goes to Spay and Neuter also helpsBARL.

“They spay and neuter all over the state, and it’s an excellentgroup,” she said. “I’d estimate they’ve assisted at least 400-500spays and neuters in this area over the last year or two – it’sbeen at least that many. Though the money doesn’t come directly toBARL, it still helps us.”