Barktoberfest provides fun for dogs and funds for mental health

By Taj Simmons - Reporter

VINTON, Va. - Roanoke Valley pet lovers let their dogs out in the name of mental health.

The second annual Barktoberfest took over the Vinton War Memorial on Saturday afternoon. The event featured vendors tailored to dogs and their owners, as well as a costume contest for the best-dressed dog.

Mental health organization Project Support put together the festival. Event organizer and Project Support Director Kayla Gobble says the goal was to celebrate dogs, while also drawing attention to how much pets can help mental health.

"We believe that pets are a huge part of that recovery from mental illness," Gobble said. "We want everyone to show it is OK to have issues with mental health and talk about that. One of the best things you can do is have a furry friend to come home to."

The money from Barktoberfest will go towards Project Support. The organization is already planning Barktoberfest's return next year.

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