Canine A-List


“There’s a place for every dog,” says Mindy Benezra of the CaboDogz rescue group of Ventura. At the Felix ’n’ Fido Bring Me Home Adoption Festival at the Ventura Harbor Village, the goal is to put dogs of every age, size and breed in the limelight so that they can find the most important place of all: home.

Now in its third year, the adoption festival brings together 14 local rescue organizations and over 60 dogs for a day of music, entertainment and the pièce de résistance, the red carpet event where dogs from every organization will strut their stuff before prospective owners.

The event debuted in 2013, shortly after Benezra started her own rescue organization, CaboDogz. A frequent traveler to Baja, she was struck by the preponderance of stray dogs living on the streets of Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo — and the numbers of homeless animals in the area’s animal shelters. “What they do in Cabo … I can’t tell you how hard their job is,” Benezra says. CaboDogz (which operates out of Ventura Highway Luxury Boarding for Dogs) was created in part to bring some of the dogs of Cabo to the U.S. in hopes of increasing their chances of finding good, permanent homes. (Many CaboDogz canines come from the Ventura County Animal Shelter as well.)

“I just thought it would be really cool to have all the rescue groups come together,” Benezra recalls of her initial inspiration for the festival. With a little help from Sheldon Brown of the Ventura Breeze (now a co-host) and the enthusiasm of the Humane Society and Ventura County Animal Services, she pulled the event together, resulting in the adoption of around 20 pets. Fifteen more found homes in 2014. Benezra hopes that over 20 will be placed this year.

The 2015 Felix ’n’ Fido festival will be held on Sunday, Aug. 16, at 11a.m. at Ventura Harbor Village and will feature dogs (and a few cats) from All for Love Animal Rescue, Cat’s Cradle and more. It should be a doggone good time … and a great opportunity to meet a furry best friend.

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