A new four-legged friend is coming to The Mall at University Town Center.
Oh, and it wears a cape.
Southeastern Guide Dogs is introducing one of its superhero puppy sculptures to the mall at 11 a.m. Saturday in Grand Court. The addition is part of the organization’s Superheroes on Parade initiative.
More than 150 of the sculptures, which are typically hand-painted by local artists, are on display in Sarasota, St. Petersburg and Tampa. Pamela Olin, artist and UTC Apple Store employee, will paint the mall’s superhero dog in front of guests Saturday. Those attending the event will have a chance to add their own creative touch by painting a section of the dog.
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The superhero dog sculptures all have different looks and personalities. They serve as a fundraising campaign for the nonprofit organization. In 2017, a system was in place for donors to cast $1 votes for their favorite dogs throughout the three regions. More than $114,000 was raised in the competition.
Southeastern Guide Dogs is a Palmetto-based organization that breeds and trains service and guide dogs. After Saturday’s event, the sculpture will remain at UTC to help generate interest and awareness for the Southeastern Guide Dogs mission.