Trained dogs will perform at Mental Health Foundation event

There are nine trainers who take the dogs around the country to perform, and they are big believers in the Paws for a Cause message that pets play an important role in people's lives.

"The trainers own the dogs," said Aaron Methvin, a production manager with Kicking Cow, the company that manages the Incredible Dog Team. "The trainers don't go anywhere without these dogs."

That kinship lets the dogs "do things you never thought a dog could do," Methvin said. One, for instance, can do a handstand, he said.

Methvin, who's watched the Incredible Dog Team perform numerous times, called it "crazy" and said it's sure to keep people of all ages entertained.

"You see kids with big smiles and adults with their jaws dropped," he said. "It's just fun."

Burgess hopes people will share some of those good feelings with animals around the area who are in need. In addition to looking to hook people up with rescue groups at the show, organizers are holding a pet food drive at Paws for a Cause. Visitors are encouraged to bring a container of new, unopened, canned or dry pet food on both days. The food will be distributed to the rescue groups that are participating in the event.

The Mental Health Foundation, meanwhile, doesn't stand to collect much from the event. It's not really a fundraiser -- admission is free. Burgess said Paws for a Cause is really intended just to celebrate the role animals play in people's lives.

Paws for a Cause at the Plaza will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. The Incredible Dog Team will perform Saturday at 10:30 a.m., noon and 1:30 p.m. ""

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