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!
Dogfest Philly-NJ Schedule:
10:30 a.m. - Check-in/registration
11:00 a.m. - Welcome to DogFest/Canine Companions speakers
11:30 a.m. - Canine Companions Volunteer Puppy Raiser Demonstration
12:00 p.m. - Canine Companions Graduate Demonstration
12:30 p.m. - Empower Yoga
1:00 p.m. - Canine Companions Demonstration
1:45 p.m. - Doggie Costume Contest
2:00 p.m. - Closing remarks
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 dogs make a profound impact through the jobs they do like opening doors, picking up dropped items, alerting to sounds and much more.
DogFest Philly-NJ 2020 was a great success! Our incredible volunteer committee transformed the in-person event into a virtual one that featured graduate speakers, service dog demos, online contests, and much more - raising over $55,000 for Canine Companions!
This year, we look forward to being back together in-person at Campus Town at TCNJ on Saturday, September 25. The event will feature graduate speakers, service dog demos, vendors, canine contests, and much more! The event will also take place virtually for those who cannot attend.
Take the fitness challenge! Is your best friend "hounding" you to get off the couch? Then get out and get moving with your furry friend and benefit DogFest Philly-NJ-Hudson Valley and Canine Companions. You can run, walk, roll or jog in your neighborhood, on a treadmill, on a trail or on a track. Participate at your own pace while social distancing. Be sure to ask friends and family to donate for each mile you successfully complete! Remember to take plenty of photos and videos and share them with us on the DogFest Philly-NJ-Hudson Valley Facebook event page - use the hashtags #caninedogfest and #dogfestphillynj when posting! Make sure to log your miles on your participant page and watch the thermometer rise!
We will continue to monitor CDC and local health guidelines related to COVID-19 and will provide any event updates on this page. We hope to see you on September 25.
Don’t miss out on DogFest. Join the fun!
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 6,800 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 Northeast Region
Avery has Congenital Muscular Dystrophy (CMD) which is a rare, pediatric, genetic muscle disease that causes muscles to break down faster than they can repair or grow. Living with CMD and being in a power wheelchair was limiting Avery's independence, but after being matched with Canine Companions Service Dog Rainbow V in November 2015, that all changed.
Rainbow is expertly trained in over 40 commands to help Avery with daily tasks such as picking up a dropped item like a cellphone or pen, opening and closing doors, turning on lights and more. Avery explains: "One of the most important and significant things Rainbow does for me is picking up things and giving them to me. She also gives me unconditional love, helps me get through the good and the bad, helps me be more independent, and so much more. I love experiencing the human-canine bond every day. As a person with a disability, Rainbow has made such a positive impact on my life, and definitely an amazing one!"
The 13-year-old from New City, New York also serves on the DogFest Philly-NJ planning committee. Avery says: "I love DogFest! It is always so much fun and you get to do so many things: meet new people, have fun doing contests/games, and especially raise money for Canine Companions! I support DogFest because I'm so grateful for Canine Companions, their amazing work, and giving me the best dog ever, and I just want to give back to this amazing organization."
Melissa Boege is a Licensed Professional Counselor and the Program Director for the Family Growth Program of Monmouth & Ocean Counties for Catholic Charities, Diocese of Trenton. She provides therapy for children, teens, adults, and their families who have experienced trauma, abuse, and violence, particularly sexual abuse. In 2019, Melissa was matched with Facility Dog Surf during Team Training at the Northeast Training Center. Surf works with Melissa's clients in therapy to help them heal, develop coping skills, and process their experiences through creative techniques that utilize Surf's intensive training and strong skill set. Melissa and Surf also present "Safety Steps with Surf" workshops to local elementary schools, and Surf is a teaching assistant and honorary faculty member at Saint John Vianney High School, where Melissa teaches psychology courses. Surf has been a welcome addition to both the Family Growth Program and Saint John Vianney and has had a positive impact on the lives of so many around him. Melissa says: "We are so grateful to Canine Companions for bringing Surf into our world."
DogFest Philly-NJ-Hudson Valley is proud to announce our Emcee for Saturday, September 25! George Falkowski is a tri-state Emmy and Edward R. Murrow award winning broadcast legend! In addition to being a great Lab and Golden lover, George spent many years at News12 New Jersey and Chasing News on My9 and Fox 5 in NYC. You'll definitely want to check out some of George's work here: www.Yo-GeorgeTV.com George and his whole family say they're excited about joining us for DogFest Philly-NJ-Hudson Valley. Come and say "Hi" to George and welcome him to the Canine Companions family!
Campus Town at TCNJ is proud to be a Top Dog sponsor of DogFest Philly-NJ-Hudson Valley, generously donating their unique venue space for the third year in a row. Campus Town provides upperclassmen students from The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) an opportunity to live in an up-scale apartment with all of the conveniences to make the experience memorable- community apartment living, private bedrooms, a state-of-the-art fitness center, shopping and dining. They are excited to continue to bring DogFest Philly-NJ-Hudson Valley to their community and support the Canine Companions mission.
Want to see your company spotlighted? Click here for more information about becoming a sponsor!