Gather your friends, family and dogs for a day of fun!The human-canine bond is truly unique. On our happiest and hardest of days, our dogs love us endlessly. They are our everyday heroes in so many ways. Whether as service dogs, working dogs or pet dogs, there are countless tales of man's best friend doing amazing things. Join the fun at your local DogFest or participate virtually as we celebrate the joy dogs bring to our lives. Registration is free. Fundraising is encouraged. There are sponsorship, volunteer and vendor opportunities too!
When registering, be sure to indicate you are bringing a dog to get your free DogFest dog bandana. Then fundraise to qualify for some fun DogFest swag!
Be sure to check out our Facebook event page for the latest on DogFest Bay Area, participate in dog-friendly activities and let people know why you are participating. You can even download this fun sign and let everyone know how your dog brings you joy.
DogFest supports the mission of Canine Companions to enhance the lives of people with disabilities by providing expertly trained service dogs free of charge. These service dogs make a profound impact through the jobs they do like opening doors, picking up dropped items, alerting to sounds and much more.
Join us on Saturday, October 22 at Oakland’s Jack London Square for DogFest Bay Area: BOO! Barks, Brews + Bites, a Halloween-themed, canine-centric festival for the whole family! Enjoy entertainment and activities for people and pups, hear from our clients and meet their life-changing service dogs and participate in our annual canine costume contest!
DogFest is Canine Companions' national signature event, supporting the mission of Canine Companions to enhance the lives of people with disabilities by providing expertly trained service dogs free of charge. These service dogs make a profound impact through the jobs they do like opening doors, picking up dropped items, alerting to sounds and much more. Your participation makes a profound impact.
Our dogs love us endlessly, and the human-canine bond is powerful! Whether as service dogs, working dogs or pet dogs, there are countless tales of our best friends doing amazing things. We invite you to join the fun at your local DogFest or participate virtually as we gather to celebrate the joy dogs bring to our lives. Registration is free. Fundraising is encouraged.
There are sponsorship [LINK], volunteer [LINK] and vendor [LINK] opportunities, too!
Canine Companions transforms the lives of people with disabilities by providing expertly trained service dogs. Our dogs perform practical tasks that enhance independence and reduce reliance on others. They aren't just the eyes and ears, hands and legs of their human partners, they're also goodwill ambassadors and often, our best friends. A student achieves their dreams of attending college. A veteran gets a good night sleep. A patient can endure an additional procedure. Lives are transformed after being matched and working with a Canine Companions service dog.
According to the U.S. Census, nearly 1 in 4 people in the U.S. have a disability. While it costs approximately $50,000 to raise and train every Canine Companions service dog and provide ongoing support to the human-canine team, each dog is provided to the recipient completely FREE of charge. Canine Companions has placed over 7,000 service dogs, but more than 400 people with disabilities are still waiting for a match.
Our service dogs open up new opportunities and spread incredible joy. By raising funds through DogFest, you support our mission and the people we serve. Thank you.
Canine Companions in the Bay Area
Colleen with Service Dog Amador
Colleen of Redwood City, CA has a progressive neurological disease that causes loss of function in her hands, feet, arms and legs. In 2019, Colleen was matched with Service Dog Amador, who picks up dropped items, opens doors and helps her be more independent.
Colleen often uses crutches, and with limited dexterity, dropping them is a common occurrence. In the past, she would fall trying to pick them up. Enter Service Dog Amador, who happily retrieves them with a wagging tail. Colleen shares, “Amador does so much for me. Amador can pull a basket full of laundry up the stairs to the bedroom.” She continues, “If I leave my phone upstairs, and I’m downstairs, I can tell Amador ‘phone,’ and he’ll go get it and bring it to me.”
Now, Colleen and her two daughters are raising a puppy for Canine Companions! Colleen shares, “It means a lot to me to be giving back to someone else. To be giving the independence, freedom, love and partnership that Amador has given to me feels incredible.”
Arash with Service Dog Tortilla
Berkeley, CA native and San Francisco Bay Area resident Arash's life changed in 2012 he broke his neck after falling from a third-story balcony, resulting in a spinal cord injury. In 2018, Arash was matched with Canine Companions Service Dog Tortilla free of charge. Tortilla picks up dropped items for Arash, opens and closes doors and drawers and even pulls him in his manual wheelchair, an invaluable skill that helps protect his shoulders from overuse.
Now a writer, speaker and advocate for people with spinal cord injuries, Arash lives with his wife, Brita, and their two young children. Arash still remains active, enjoys time with family, runs a non-profit, works on his physical rehabilitation and swims with his wife in the chilly San Francisco Bay.
Tortilla adapted immediately when Arash’s children were born and is now just as sweet, caring and cheerful with them as he is with Arash. Tortilla also offers constant companionship. Arash shares “Tortilla brings more joy to my life. I feel like I am matched with the perfect dog – when I need him, he’s always there.”
Ava with Service Dog Hawaii
12-year-old Ava of San Francisco has a form of muscular dystrophy called nemaline myopathy, and she mostly uses a wheelchair for mobility. In 2018, Ava was matched with Service Dog Hawaii. Now, Ava has expertly trained Hawaii by her side to pick up dropped items, carry her backpack, turn on lights and much more! “Hawaii tugs me out of bed, it’s the best,” Ava says with a smile. Hawaii has even learned to help Ava walk up the stairs using “tug” command.
“Ava has completely blossomed. She’s more willing to use her muscles, and I think it’s because of the bond she has with Service Dog Hawaii. If she needs help, she can ask Hawaii, not mom, dad or one of her brothers,” says Ava's mom, Cynthia. “It’s like a weight has been lifted off all of our shoulders, because I know that she has a connection with her dog. Hawaii brings hope to Ava and motivates her.” Cynthia continues, “The amount of change and hope that Canine Companions has brought to our family and will bring to other families – it’s priceless.” Ava shares, “Hawaii is the perfect dog for me.”
Check back to learn about our generous DogFest sponsors. Visit our sponsorship page for more information on becoming a DogFest Bay Area sponsor.