Who We Are


Spring Fling Annual Dog & Cat Fundraiser is the pet project (see what I did there?) of Amy, the owner of Unleashed, the Dog & Cat Store.  Unleashed is a local, independent, dog & cat nutrition store with locations in Raleigh, Cary, and Wilmington, NC.  


The idea is to put on a fun, community event that is a celebration of spring and pets and raises awareness (& donations) for local area animals in need. 



When looking for a space, we chose the NC State Fairgrounds, which is where Unleashed got it's start (as a booth at the Flea Market!)  The event started in the Heritage Circle, and has grown to include the Tobacco Pavilion, and this year, the Holshouser building too!  Click here for a map! 


We aim to host the event annually on the Sunday following Easter (or as close as possible), as one of our main attractions is our HUGE doggie Easter Egg Hunt.  


We love animals, and spring, and our community!  Spring Fling focuses on the bright side of a rather grim situation.  69,396 cats and 36,518 dogs were euthanized in North Carolina shelters in 2015¹.  That’s over 105,000 pets across our great state being euthanized every year.  There are hundreds² of rescue organizations around the state manned by compassionate volunteers doing everything they can to reduce these numbers. To be able to put a dent, even just one, in over 105,000, these rescue organizations need more volunteers, fosters, adopters, supplies, and your support.

       We work hard everyday to help dogs and cats, including hosting fundraisers like adoption events and dog washes at our stores.  We collect donations from manufacturers and customers daily.  We offer a standing discount to all local rescue organizations.  We host raffles in our stores and donate to raffles that local rescue groups have.  But we felt we could still do more.  So we created Spring Fling.  

     Unleashed's owners and employees contribute countless hours to making this event a success, and so far for 6 years it has been (even despite some imperfect weather some years!)  We are excited for our 7th year!  

¹2015 Public Animal Shelter Report available at http://ncagr.gov/vet/aws/Fix/documents/2015AnimalShelterReport12-29-16.pdf.  


Each year the event grows bigger and bigger!  We bring together hundreds of people to peruse dozens of vendors, dozens of rescue groups/shelters/non-profits, and participate in many fun activities.  Leashed dogs are welcome, kids are welcome, people with neither are welcome!  Come one, come all, and tell everyone you know!  A few highlights:

  • Local Vendors

  • Local Rescue Groups, Shelters, and other Animal Welfare non-profits. 

  • HUGE Doggie Easter Egg Hunt, with prizes of all size!  Thousands of eggs are stuffed with prizes from our vendors, sponsors, and Unleashed!  The Grand Prize Egg has 1 YEAR of FREE Super Premium Pet Food from Unleashed!

  • Raffle: Enter to win a $100 gift certificate from Unleashed! 100% of the money goes to the rescues in attendance.

  • Demos from Local Dog Trainers

  • Food Trucks

  • And lots of Dogs!  And some puppies, and some cats too!!  


  • Cost to attend? 


  • What ages should come? 

            ALL Ages!

  • Can pets come?

            Absolutely!  Please have pets on a leash at all times.  Leash should be 6' or less and not retractable. 

  • What if I don't have pets? 

           Please come!  There will be lots of pets of all ages and sizes that would love to meet you (you might even want to

           adopt one of them...)

  • Is everything free? 

           Attending is free and most activities are too.  We do charge for the Easter Egg Hunt & one raffle to raise money for the

           local rescue groups.  Easter Egg Hunt starts at $10 donation.  Easter Egg & Raffle details here.

  • Can I donate?

            Yes!  We are collecting supplies, used & new, in addition to money, that will be divided evenly among the rescue

            groups in attendance.  You can bring items/money to the event or drop them off anytime at any Unleashed location. 

            Find donation requests here!    Donate online here!

  • Who will be there?

             In addition to your hosts, Unleashed, there will be dozen of local vendors, showcasing their goods or services.  There

             will also be dozens of local rescue groups showcasing their group and their available animals. 

             Check out our new blog for updates on who will be there!

  • Can I adopt a pet? 

             There will be dozens of local rescue groups and shelters in attendance with adoptable pets. 

              Animals are not allowed to be taken from the event, but the rescue groups will be in touch.  

  • What if it rains? 

              Bring your rain coat! 

               The event is rain or shine and we always have fun!

  • Will there be food?

              Yes!  There will be food trucks! 

              See which ones on our new blog!

  • Where do I park?

              Our event is inside the Fairgrounds, closest to Gate 9 off of Trinity Rd. or Gate 5 & 6 off of Youth Center Rd. 

              Check out this map for help.  This year our event will cover Heritage Circle and the Holshouser (round) building.  

  • How much is parking?


  • Are there prizes or freebies?

              YES! Many of our vendors & sponsors will hand out freebies.  Everyone is invited to participate in our FREE Scavenger

              Hunt- one winner will be drawn to win a gift basket full of goodies from our vendors.  Egg Hunt Participants (donation

              to enter) will get a nice tote bag filled with goodies and find lots of eggs with  vouchers for prizes of all sizes,

              including the Grand Prize 1 YEAR supply of Free Super Premium Pet Food from Unleashed!  

  • Is there an easy way that I can help? 

              YES!  Spread the word!  Tell everyone you know!  Make social media posts, hang flyers, post to NextDoor, Craigslist,

               etc.  The more people that come, the more we can help the local area animals in need.


Check out pictures from our past years!

What to Expect