A One-Second Way to Help Veterans and First Responders

This article is sniffed out and served to you in partnership with Dogtopia of Bloomington. Scroll down to see what makes them awesome.

Your one-second good deed of the day: By simply sharing this story with frens and fam, you might help a veteran or first responder in need receive a service dog for free.

Veterans and first responders are true heroes and we dig chances to help them in return like a hole in the yard. The pack at Dogtopia of Bloomington does, too, so much that its Dogtopia Foundation works with organizations like America’s VetDogs to sponsor assistance dogs for first responders and military vets returning home. 

The program is just one kibble in the bowl of Dogtopia Foundation’s efforts to help people via pups. It also supports youth literacy programs and employment initiatives for adults with autism. “By connecting dogs with every program we support, these loving and devoted pups are fulfilling their true purpose by helping our returning veterans, at-risk children, and adults with autism reach their full potential,” said Jeri Kendle, Dogtopia Foundation Executive Director.

Dogtopia Foundation’s latest project: raising bones to gift a service dog and the required pooch ’n person training costs to a veteran. The price tag is about $6,000, but the assistance these doggos provide is priceless. 

Take Mikey in Minnesota, for example. Veteran Chad Althiser received his PTSD service dog, a lab named Mikey, after more than 20 years of service in the Marine Corps. Mikey now nudges Althiser awake if he’s having a nightmare, brings his medications, and can work light switches and doors as requested.

Dream team Chad and Mikey. Chad says, “To Mikey, I’m enough.” (Photo courtesy of America’s VetDogs)

Althiser says Mikey is helping him create reassuring consistency in his life: “Each day is a little more structured and predictable. I have been more present and calm. This allows me to be engaged with my family and others, but also helps me to get the best out of Mikey in a service capacity. The issues I’m dealing with aren’t shallow or superficial. …The connection I have with Mikey is unconditional. I don’t need to perform a certain way, and I don’t have anxiety about what he’ll think of me. To Mikey, I’m enough.”

Know someone who could benefit from a service dog? Donate to Dogtopia Foundation’s current service dog fundraiser online or by texting “Dogtopia97” to 71777 and Dogtopia will match 10% of your gift. Then visit America’s VetDogs to learn about eligibility or apply for a dog.

Don’t know someone who could benefit from a service dog? Your frens might. Share this story on your socials. It takes just a second or two and you never know who you might help. 

(Top photo courtesy of America’s VetDogs)

Dogtopia of Bloomington welcomes dogs for daycare, boarding, grooming, and spa services in a doggo oasis featuring a bacteria-killing air system, rubberized flooring, pet-safe chemicals, and oodles of playtime and cuddles from its highly trained staff. Contact them directly for more info about services and they work they’re doing through Dogtopia Foundation.

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