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Westchase’s Wonder Dog | World of Westchase

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Westchase’s Wonder Dog

A superhero has landed in Westchase and his name is Duncan.

Duncan’s journey to the West Park Village plaza began when Westchase Community Development District (CDD) Supervisor Barbara Griffith became a little bit jealous that other Tampa areas had community art installations. “I grew up in Europe and love the arts,” she said. “I see things happening around town and wondered how Westchase could become more involved in the Tampa area arts community.”

Griffith reached out to Hillsborough County and they referred her to Southeastern Guide Dogs (SGD).

Griffith’s timing was perfect. SGD was thrilled to get her call because Westchase could get involved in a new fundraising campaign, Superheroes on Parade. “There are more than 90 superhero dog statues in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Sarasota,” said Fran Marinaro, SGD Director of Philanthropy. “Each dog was hand painted by local artists. All of the money raised from Superheroes on Parade will support all of our programs.”

SGD trains guide dogs, service dogs and companion dogs for people living with significant challenges, including those with visual impairments and veterans with disabilities. All Southeastern Guide Dogs’ services – which include selective breeding and expert dog training; comprehensive on-campus student instruction and lifetime graduate follow-up – are provided at no cost to the recipients. The charity relies 100 percent on private donations and receives no government funding.

Want your turn at being a superhero?

SGD will be hosting an awards celebration Oct. 7. The top three dogs will be recognized along with the artist and sponsor. You can vote for Duncan by visiting superheroesonparade.dog. Each vote cost $1 (as of the middle of August, Duncan was in second place.) Voting ends on Sept. 29. Duncan is also still in need of a sponsor. To find out how you could sponsor Duncan, contact Marinaro at (941) 803-7542 or frances.marinaro@guidedogs.com.

Duncan will remain in West Park Village until the end of November. For more information on Superheroes on Parade, visit superheroesonparade.dog.

By Marcy Sanford

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