America's Got Talent taped a show recently in the area but Saturday was the day for local dog's to shine and show their talents. At Saturday's Pawfest in Largo Central Park, dogs could audition for American IDogs.
Currently American IDogs has 13 dogs and the touring company hopes to expand to 75 dogs for its upcoming "Bark to our Future" production. It's the American Idol and America's Got Talent for dogs. The canines dance, jump, do tricks and show off their obedience training, according to organizers.
About 70 percent of the dogs in the show are rescue dogs. The show focuses on "what is best in pet ownership- responsible owners and well-educated dogs," said show producer Daniel Ratay.
Early Saturday afternoon an Australian Shepherd from Pinellas Park warmed up before the auditions started. Cayenne walked through the agility course with Owner/Handler Kelly Hansen. Then the shepherd sailed through the tunnels and jumps with ease on her own.
Dog talent was seen everywhere at Pawfest. Border collies showed off their fielding skills in a game of baseball. Children hit balls deep into a field and the collies jumped and ran after the balls.
People learned how dogs assist police in the community with a demonstration by the Largo Police Department K-9 Unit. They could also learn more about service and therapy dogs.
Other dogs went into the show ring where they competed for titles such as the smallest dog.
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In its 6th year, Pawfest is the main fundraiser for the Kiwanis Club of Largo/Mid-Pinellas. The Kiwanis, a service organization, supports youth programs including the Key Club at Largo High School, a tutoring program at Mildred Helms Elementary and Camp COAST for autism, said Fundraising Chairwoman Linda Bullerman.
People could also shop for their dogs and learn about getting a dog from rescue organizations. A park field was filled with pet product vendors, pet service providers and pet-centered non-profits.