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 as we celebrate the joy dogs bring to our lives. Registration is free, and 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 checkout our Facebook Event Page for the latest on DogFest Tri-States, participate in dog friendly activities, and let people know why you are participating. You can even download this fun sign to 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.
DogFest Tri-States Schedule:
12:45 p.m. - Alumni Reunion
1:00 p.m. - Welcome to DogFest and Canine Companions Speakers
1:20 p.m. - Soccer Shots (1 of 3)
1:30 p.m. - Canine Companions Volunteer Puppy Raiser Speaker and Demonstration
1:30 p.m. - AKC Canine Good Citizen Testing (1 of 2)
1:30 p.m. - Honor Yoga, 30 minutes (1 of 2)
2:00 p.m. - Canine Companions Graduate Erin and Facility Dog Franklin
2:05 p.m. - Soccer Shots (2 of 3)
2:15 p.m. - Canine Companions Graduate Justin and Service Dog Legolas
2:30 p.m. - Honor Yoga, 30 minutes (2 of 2)
2:50 p.m. - Soccer Shots (3 of 3)
3:00 p.m. - AKC Canine Good Citizen Testing (2 of 2)
3:00 p.m. - Canine Companions Graduate Kara and Service Dog Darwin with Puppy Raisers Ann and Bob Benson and Marianne Paidas
3:15 p.m. - Musical Sit
4:00 p.m. - Closing Remarks
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 Northeast Region
Erin Verdon is an occupational therapist at St. Luke’s Physical Therapy Center in Phillipsburg, New Jersey. How she worked with her patients changed in October 2021 after attending Team Training at the Northeast Region Training Center and being matched with facility dog Franklin. Erin says, “We work together as a team. We motivate as well as support patients by engaging them in therapy whether its physical, cognitive, or upper body coordination tasks.” Franklin loves to work, as well as learn new commands to continue to support patients in their sessions.
Franklin is very affectionate and emotional toward the people he and Erin work with. Some patients may not always give therapy their all, but with Franklin, patients find themselves stretching farther and jumping higher to do their best for him. He is unconditionally supportive and the bridge some people need to fully engage in their therapy sessions.
In July of 2021 Kara received a phone call inviting her to participate in the upcoming August team training. It was a bittersweet moment, but she said yes without hesitation, and on August 12 she graduated with Darwin IV. “Darwin is a lab golden cross who is a bundle of energy, lots of fun, a snuggle king, and very helpful with daily tasks!”
Spend a few moments with 18-year-old Justin and you'll quickly learn that he has a dynamic mix of creativity and mechanical inclination. From a very early age, he's shown a deep curiosity and innate understanding of how things work, how to build, and most importantly, how to pull inspiration from the world around him to create artwork and products that are uniquely his own. Justin's life was forever changed in November 2014 when he was matched with his service dog, Holiday, and then again in April 2022 when he was matched with Service Dog Legolas.
Erin Verdon is an occupational therapist at St. Luke’s Physical Therapy Center in Phillipsburg, New Jersey. How she worked with her patients changed in October 2021 after attending Team Training at the Northeast Region Training Center and being matched with facility dog Franklin.
DogFest Tri-States is proud to announce that George Falkowski is returning to be our emcee for the second year in a row! George 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. In the last year, George has published his first book, “Meet Me at the Bat”, comprised of 31 short stories based on a pile of old Yankees ticket stubs. You check out George's work at www.Yo-GeorgeTV.com. George and his whole family say they're excited about joining us again for DogFest Tri-States!
SureHands Lift & Care Systems teams up to listen, analyze, and deliver innovative mobility solutions to help Americans take better daily care of themselves or their loved ones in their own home or group setting. SureHands is proud to be a Dog Lover Sponsor at DogFest Tri-States this year.
Advantage Outfitters, LLC is a fast-growing vehicle upfitter, specializing in commercial equipment and accessories for cargo vans. Our customers include trade fleets, utilities, municipalities, vehicle dealers, and leasing companies. With locations in both New York and New Jersey, they are bringing innovation and change to the way van upfitting is done in the NYC metro area and beyond. Advantage Outfitters is excited to come to DogFest Tri-States this year as a Dog Lover Sponsor.
Want to see your company spotlighted? Click here for more information about becoming a sponsor!