Our Mission

To accomplish this, we currently are funding programs focused around three worthy causes: Service Dogs for Veterans, Therapy Dogs for Students, and Employment Initiatives for Adults with Autism. 100% of your donation is given directly to the organizations we support.

Service Dogs for Veterans

+

Our FUNDING SUPPORT

We currently fund nationally recognized organizations that provide highly trained service dogs for veterans returning home with physical and mental health challenges.

We are also committed to funding and promoting groundbreaking research that validates the benefits of dogs to humans—especially service dogs for veterans with PTSD.

featured partners

America’s VetDogs
Canine Companions
K9s For Warriors
Mutts with a Mission
Paws Assisting Veterans
paws4people

Why do our veterans need your support?

52%

SUFFER FROM PTSD

6 in 10

REPORT FEELING DEPRESSED, LONELY, OR ANXIOUS

$30K+

COST OF EACH SERVICE DOG

Success Stories

  • Retired Command Sergeant Major (CSM), US Army; Author, Leading from the Front

    We are honored to have a partnership with Retired Command Sergeant Major (CSM) Gretchen Evans, a brave warrior who served her country, survived devastating injuries, and credits her service dog, Aura, for saving her life. She is now dedicated to inspiring her military comrades and others to think beyond age, illness, or disability.  

    During her 27-year career with the U.S. Army, Gretchen deployed several times to the Middle East, including her final assignment as the Garrison Command Sergeant Major of Combined Forces in Afghanistan where she was responsible for 30,000 troops. Gretchen was inducted into the United States Veterans Hall of Fame in 2020 and has earned numerous other medals and awards including the Bronze Star, the Presidential Unit Citation Medal, Global War on Terrorism ribbons, six Meritorious Service Medals, and numerous other awards.  

  • The Dogtopia Foundation partnered with Next Step Service Dogs to bring together returned veteran Anthony Torres and his field golden retriever, Tillman.

    Torres served as a U.S. Marine for six years. Following his years of service, he returned home and connected with Next Step Service Dogs, an organization focused on providing trained service dogs to veterans. Gina Esoldi, Program Director with Next Step Service Dogs, united Torres with Tillman and guided him through the training process.

    Tillman has impacted Torres’ life in numerous ways. He now feels confident and plays a more active role in his community. Tillman keeps him going.

    “He’s that number one spot in my life, and I need to make sure he’s taken care of,” said Torres.

  • Maverick was the first service dog sponsored by Dogtopia in 2017 and was recently matched with his veteran, Jeanette. Jeanette served in the U.S. Army as military police outside of Baghdad during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2006 and 2007. She is a veteran living in Santa Rosa, CA.

    After experiencing a two-and-a-half year waiting list, she describes meeting Maverick for the first time as “love at first sight.” Jeanette has fond memories of their first meeting: “Maverick came through the door with his tail wagging, walked over to me, and put his head in my lap; there was an instant connection.” Like any proud parent, she described Maverick as the tallest in his class, most handsome, attentive, smart, and an overachiever—he retrieves two dumbbells when the other dogs retrieve only one.

MEET OUR SPONSORED PUPS

Tommy
Dogtopia of Woodbury
Don
Dogtopia of Gilbert
Ace
Dogtopia of Harrison Ave
Howie
Dogtopia of La Grange
Cowboy
Dogtopia of Viera
Remy
Dogtopia of Uptown Phoenix
Elspeth
Dogtopia of The Woodlands West
Homer
Dogtopia of The Woodlands West
Geneve
Dogtopia of The Woodlands North
Ricey
Dogtopia of The Woodlands North

100% of your donation is given directly to the organizations we support.

Therapy Dogs for Students

+

Our Worthy Causes

Rates of anxiety and depression have increased significantly since the pandemic, especially among our nation’s youth. Because research is increasingly pointing to the physical, psychological, and emotional benefits of dog-assisted intervention, there is a surge in demand for registered therapy dog teams among schools and universities. Unfortunately, the pandemic also resulted in a loss of many registered therapy dog teams. We help meet this demand by proactively recruiting volunteers from among our pet parents and employees and encouraging them to become registered therapy dog teams through Pet Partners.

featured partner

Are you and your animal ready to form a therapy team? Take this short, fun quiz to find out if you and your companion animal might be a good fit to join the Pet Partners family!

100% of your donation is given directly to the organizations we support.

Employment Initiatives For Adults With Autism

+

Our Worthy Causes

We provide support for employment programs for adults with autism. Through quality employment programs, our aim is to help individuals with autism experience a higher quality of life and increased self-determination through their success at work.

In partnership with the Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center, the Dogtopia Foundation developed an Autism Employment Guide for Dogtopia franchisees. This guide provides coaching for Dogtopia teammates for how to best create a positive, thriving work environment for both adults with ASD and neurotypical adults.

featured partners

“Employing adults with autism has been a huge benefit for us. They bring so much to the table. They bring joy and they love what they do, but they also take their jobs very seriously. We have a lot of visual aids and technology in place to support them, but those additional supports have also benefitted our entire team.”

Diane Foos, Owner
Dogtopia of Rocklin

Why do adults with autism need our support with employment?

86%

of adults with autism are unemployed in their communities

1 in 59

current prevalence rate for Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)

50%

Of adults with aSD HAVE
NEVER HELD A PAYING JOB

SUCCESS STORIES

  • “We were looking to do something with a smarter approach to the service industry that was organized and standardized,” said Girish. “We took the steps and came to learn more about Dogtopia and that’s when we were introduced to the Dogtopia Foundation. That was a game changer for us.”

    For Girish and Radhika, this cause hit very close to home—their son, Neel (age 10), is on the autism spectrum.

    “We knew our son may have trouble finding employment as an adult,” said Radhika. “We thought, ‘We can always put funds aside for him, but then what?’ When we heard about the work Dogtopia is doing to help lower the unemployment rate for adults with autism, it opened a future not only for us but for our son, too.”

    As Girish and Radhika set out on their journey, they visited a Dogtopia in Virginia and met several of the 10+ employees with autism working in the dog daycare.

    “It was amazing how well the team embraced these adults,” said Radhika. “It was really heartwarming.”

    Now, in their own daycare, which opened in November of 2019, they have hired one full-time employee and one intern on the autism spectrum. They also partner with a local career transition program that brings students with learning disabilities to Dogtopia to learn and grow.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that the current prevalence rate for ASD is 1 in 59. Some people refer to ASD as an “invisible disorder” because unlike a physical disorder, the impact of one’s autism may not be as easily detectible to others. ASD is characterized by social impairments, communication difficulties, and restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior. Autism is considered a spectrum disorder, meaning that each person has his or her own unique strengths and challenges within these areas.

People often think of ASD as only affecting children. However, autism is considered a lifetime disorder, and individuals can experiences challenges into adulthood. One of the biggest challenges is finding employment. Nationally, 86% of adults with autism are unemployed in their communities, according to the National Autism Indicators report published by Drexel University’s Autism Institute. This is a staggering statistic given the fact that many of these individuals have an average or above average IQ. Many experts in the field believe that the low employment rate is due to the challenges individuals with ASD experience in social communication. Oftentimes, individuals struggle with traditional screening and interview processes despite having the skillset to be successful on the job.

100% of your donation is given directly to the organizations we support.