Dog Boarding Facility Raising Money For Veteran Service Dogs, Community Outreach


Friday, August 12th 2022, 9:32 pm

By: News On 6


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Dogs and staff members worked hard Wednesday as they prepared for the grand opening of Dogtopia. Owner Daryl Bray said the Dogtopia Foundation is committed to supporting more than just your Best Furry Friend Forever.

"The biggest one for us is providing funding to train service dogs for military vets,” Bray said. “We have a goal right now of raising $6,000 before we grand open August 29th."

The Dogtopia Foundation raises funds which are donated to organizations including K9’s for Heroes and America’s VetDogs. The organizations train service dogs and place them with veterans that meet their specific needs.

“We’re not going to stop with the first service dog,” Bray said. “This is going to be a continual fundraiser for us to keep training service dogs as long as we’re open.”

The organization also contributes to Youth Literacy Programs in schools and libraries where they help children learn to read by reading to dogs. They also have an initiative to hire adults with autism.

“Many of our facilities, ours included, may very well have individuals who have autism and we’re proud of that,” Bray said. “We celebrate it and we have programs to support their employment here at Dogtopia.”

Tracy Gordon, Dogtopia’s New Store Operations (NSO) Manager, said this is what the organization is all about.

“The owner’s and the staff that work here, they all love dogs,” Gordon said. “That becomes kind of like Auntie Tracy or Auntie whoever to really be able to nurture that pet parent and that relationship that we are now creating.”

Bray said he hopes to someday meet a veteran and their service dog through the Dogtopia Foundation’s contribution.

“Ideally, yeah, it would be a veteran locally here that we might be able to meet and welcome and have their service dog greet us,” Bray said.

Dogtopia hopes to reach its fundraising goal before August 29. The funds will then be sent to a partner organization that will train the dog for a veteran.

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