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.
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.
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 Southwest is one unified regional event powered by the local communities throughout the Southwest Region. All of the states represented in the region: Southern California, Utah, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Hawaii will participate by fundraising and and many are holding local pop-up events on the day of August 28, 2021. Chapters, groups, and corporate teams will be created in each geographical area to help raise funds and celebrate the mission of Canine Companions. Join a team today or register as an individual and show your support for our mission! Visit our Facebook event page to engage in some virtual activities and share your excitement, too.
Local Pop-Up Events (Check back for additional locations and details):
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 Southwest
Meet Naomi and Inga
When Naomi enters a room, the first thing you see is her brilliant, igniting smile. The second thing many people notice is her limitations. Adopted from Niger at age 5 with schizencephaly, a congenital brain malformation, Naomi relies on a power wheelchair to get around and uses a computerized “talker” to speak. Despite these incredible technologies, Naomi has been dependent on caregivers to meet all her needs. That all began to change at age 11 when she was matched with her Canine Companions service dog, a Golden Retriever named Inga.
"It was truly love at first sight – Naomi burst into joyful tears the moment they met,” said Naomi’s mom Stephanie. Inga plays board games to inspire Naomi's engagement in therapy, retrieves items that Naomi easily drops due to dexterity issues, helps Naomi contribute to family chores, and is learning to respond to commands directly from Naomi's talker. When Naomi is hospitalized, Inga comforts, entertains, and provides a social bridge with doctors who spend more time in the room because she's there. But Inga's most valuable skill wasn't even planned for – when Naomi becomes anxious about driving her power chair in crowded public spaces, Inga has the uncanny ability to interrupt a panic attack before it happens and draw Naomi back into the moment. Because of Inga, Naomi can dream of independence.
The Disabled American Veterans (D.A.V.) Industries, Inc. is proud to be a Man's Best Friend sponsor for DogFest Southwest. They are a leading non-profit that provides a lifetime of support for veterans of all generations and their families. Every year, D.A.V. Industries, Inc. assists more than 1 million veterans in life-changing ways – by providing resources, creating employment opportunities, mobilizing volunteers and advocating for veterans.
For the local San Diego D.A.V. Industries, Inc. office, that includes partnering with Canine Companions and the work we do to provide veterans with disabilities greater self-esteem and independence by way of highly trained service dogs.