The Avenue Viera was filled with paws for a good cause on Saturday.
Dozens of dogs and their owners gathered at the open-air mall’s Central Park for Dogfest Spacecoast 2021, a fundraising event aiding the nonprofit organization Canine Companions. Activities included a dog parade, a canine costume contest, a raffle, vendors, kids’ games, live music and food.
“It was a very good turnout considering the pandemic and what we really had planned to do,” said event chairperson Karen Londos, a Viera real estate agent. “We’re very happy.”
California-based Canine Companions has provided more than 6,000 trained service dogs to people with disabilities free of charge, and several of the dogs and their owners were in attendance. Londos, who is deaf and reads lips, was accompanied by her hearing dog, a Golden Retriever named Ninja.
Dressed like a unicorn, a greyhound named Kenya walked off with a gift basket for best costume. The 4-year-old is a rescue dog, according to her owner, Michelle Mikkelsonof Viera.
“She’s the best,” Mikkelson said.
Another dog, a furry female German Shepherd named Talie, carried a “No Pet” tag even though she’s not a service dog.
“She’s just shy,” explained Talie’s owner, Christina Glover of Rockledge. “Everyone wants to pet her.”