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Heroes & Hounds Competition, family fest to feature K9s

By Staff | Jan 4, 2018

Sun Splash Family Waterpark will be going to the dogs this Saturday, and some of the best and bravest in the area will lead the pack.

The Gunterberg Charitable Foundation will present the Heroes and Hounds Family Fest from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., featuring the Florida Gulf Coast Police K9 Competition, hosted by the Cape Coral Police Dept.

The event is free and will feature a vendor expo, food, drinks, a children’s ID booth, raffles and music featuring the LCEC Killa-Watts.

The inaugural event will help support Holiday 4 Heroes, the soon-to-be-built Cape Coral Animal Shelter and Southeastern Guide Dogs School.

Peter Kessack, event organizer, said the idea was for the three charities involved to be able to continue their respective missions.

“(K-9) Officer Stephen Scrobe contacted us and thought it would be a good idea to increase the visual with the competition,” said Kessack, who hopes to bring in a few thousand. “For them, it will show the power of the dogs and how they work. For us, it’s a family fun festival, a great way to spend the day.”

The other half of the event will be the police K9 competition, which will feature more than two dozen teams from more than a dozen area agencies.

Dogs and their handlers will have to tackle an obstacle course, and the dogs will also compete for the hardest hitting and the fastest honors in hope of bringing home both prizes and bragging rights.

All the dogs are certified and patrol use animals, and the competitors will be from all over the state, Scrobe said. The obstacles are useful in that they resemble what both dog and handler may face in actual deployment, making them helpful for training.

With the CCPD hosting the event, the six dogs and their handlers got to work the course on their training day, including Scrobe and his dog, Carbon.

“The teams will negotiate 15 obstacles and they will have to either do them together or by themselves for time, with the fastest being the winner,” Scrobe said. “Any time we can join together and raise money for a good cause, we’re happy to help out.”

Holiday 4 Heroes provides comfort and care products through their care package mission to active military personnel deployed overseas.

Cape Coral Animal Shelter is a planned a no-kill facility on land leased from the city, while the Southeastern Guide Dog School provides dogs that are trained for disabled veterans.

Sun Splash Family Waterpark is at 400 Santa Barbara Blvd,