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 assistance 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, but 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 Washington DC, 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!
This year, DogFest Washington DC will be in a new location within Reston Town Center. Join us at Reston Town Square Park on Market Street, between St. Francis Street and Explorer Street!
Take the fitness challenge! Is your best friend "hounding" you to get off the couch? Ten get out and get moving with your furry friend and benefit DogFest Washington DC and Canine Companions. You can run, walk, roll, or jog in your neighborhood, on a treadmill, trail, or track. Participate at your own pace! 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 to our Facebook page with the hashtags #caninedogfest and #dogfestwashingtondc. Log those miles on your participant page and watch the thermometer rise!
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.
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 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
Learning differences can cause school to be an arduous, uphill climb for some students. The fallout can be significant, and can often cause reduced self-esteem, school aversion, anxiety, and depression. Adding a highly trained facility dog to a school is transformative: challenging students to become more confident, capable learners while having a whole lot of fun!
Facility dog Karma and her partner, Karin M.Ed. MA, assist students with learning differences through the nonprofit Tail Wags & Book Bags at The Lab School of Washington. As a team, Karma and Karin help students struggling with dyslexia, speech, executive function, fine and gross motor coordination, sensory disorders, and ADHD. They participate in speech and occupational therapy, individualized reading, and group classroom settings.
Some of Karma’s specialized tasks include delivering spelling words to students in her bucket, pressing on a recording button with her nose that replays words students pronounce in speech therapy, painting with a brush in her mouth to encourage students with fine motor delays to participate in art class, and facilitating gross motor skills in activities involving throwing, catching, and weaving through cones. These are only a few examples of how Karma helps kids at The Lab School of Washington.
Karin says, “Karma brings so much joy to students, teachers, therapists, and me! Perhaps her most meaningful quality is the unconditional love and affection she has for everyone she meets. There’s nothing like having a consistent, gentle, reliable friend.”
Your donation to DogFest Washington DC helps Canine Companions continue to make amazing placements that positively affect the lives of others, like Karma and Karin at The Lab School of Washington.
Purple Heart recipient Sgt. Michael Carrasquillo (USA Ret.) was an airborne infantryman and fought in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He was severely wounded in a firefight in Sept. 2005 during an air assault mission in Afghanistan with the 173rd Airborne Brigade. He was attempting to pull an injured member of his unit to safety when he was hit with a barrage of enemy gunfire. He spent two years recovering at Walter Reed, with more than 40 surgeries. In 2016, Sgt. Carrasquillo was matched with Canine Companions service dog Ojai IV. Ojai is an 8-year-old Labrador Retriever trained to respond to over 40 professional commands, such as opening and closing doors, turning lights on and off, and retrieving dropped items. Today, Sgt. Carrasquillo lives in Maryland, and is the host of WTF Nation Radio’s “POP Culture Warrior.” He’s also active in veterans outreach programs such as Wounded Warriors Project, Armed Services Arts Partnership, Mission Continues, Disabled Sports USA, and Team Red, White and Blue. Sgt. Carrasquillo says Ojai continues to be an incredible addition to his life, “He’s everything I didn’t even know I was missing. He’s perfect - It’s like he was made just for me.”
Reston Town Center (RTC) is proud to be a Man's Best Friend Sponsor for DogFest Washington DC. RTC has generously donated space to host DogFest for the past few years and is excited to continue the partnership with Canine Companions. Reston Town Center originated in 1990 and has since expanded to become an acclaimed outdoor venue offering more than 50 retailers, 35 restaurants, a milti-screen cinema, and the newest addition of the Silver Line Metro. RTC continues to elevate the community's shopping and dining scene, making it a year-round destination.
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