Petco Foundation Invests in America’s VetDogs Service Dog Program

$20,000 grant will support efforts in providing assistance dogs to disabled veterans

Smithtown, NY (January 17, 2016) - America’s VetDogs, a Smithtown, NY-based service dog organization, today announced it has been awarded a $20,000 grant from the Petco Foundation to support its effort of providing highly trained guide and service dogs to veterans with disabilities. 

America’s VetDogs is a non-profit organization that serves veterans from all eras and first responders who have honorably served our country and community.  By placing specially trained assistance dogs - including guide dogs, hearing dogs, service dogs and PTSD service dogs – VetDogs helps these men and women once again lead active, independent lives.  Not only does an assistance dog provide support with daily activities, it provides the motivation to take on new challenges. 

All of VetDogs services are provided at no cost to incoming veterans and first responders — this includes their dog, transportation to and from its campus in Smithtown, NY, instruction, as well as support and follow up training as needed once they graduate from the program.

The grant was made possible through the Petco Foundation’s annual Helping Heroes fundraising campaign, in partnership with Natural Balance Pet Foods. During the campaign each October, customers are invited to donate in Petco stores across the country to support service and therapy animals and organizations.

“America’s VetDogs is extremely grateful to the Petco Foundation for its generous grant to support our mission of helping those who have served our country,” said VetDogs CEO Wells B. Jones.  “This grant will be invaluable to our assistance dog programs to help our nation’s veterans live without boundaries.”

About America’s VetDogs® 
Since 2003, America’s VetDogs ( has trained and placed guide and service dogs to provide independence, enhanced mobility and companionship to veterans with disabilities from all eras. In 2015, VetDogs opened its programs to first responders, inclusive of fire, police, and emergency medical personnel.  America's VetDogs is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization founded by the Guide Dog Foundation and relies on contributions from generous individuals, corporations, service clubs, and foundations to fund its mission to help those who have served our country live with dignity and independence. It costs over $50,000 to breed, raise, train, and place one assistance dog, but America’s VetDogs provides its services completely free of charge to the individual.  

Be sure to catch Charlie, the VetDogs ‘Puppy with a Purpose’ daily on NBC’s TODAY.

America’s VetDogs has been accredited by both the International Guide Dog Federation and Assistance Dogs International. 

About the Petco Foundation
At the Petco Foundation, we believe that every animal deserves to live its best life.  Since 1999, we’ve invested more than $170 million in lifesaving animal welfare work to make that happen. With our more than 4,000 animal welfare partners, we inspire and empower communities to make a difference by investing in adoption and medical care programs, spay and neuter services, pet cancer research, service and therapy animals, and numerous other lifesaving initiatives. Through our Think Adoption First program, we partner with Petco stores and animal welfare organizations across the country to increase pet adoptions. So far, we’ve helped more than 5 million pets find their new loving families, and we’re just getting started. Visit to learn more about how you can get involved.