Press release: Dogtopia
Dogtopia, the national dog daycare franchise, is celebrating the success of its Dogs Save Lives initiative led by retired Command Sergeant Major (CSM) Gretchen Evans, recipient of the Pat Tillman Award for Service at the 2022 ESPYS. The campaign, which began on September 11 and fittingly culminates on Veterans Day, helped the brand’s charitable arm, Dogtopia Foundation, gain new supporters and raise more than $150,000 to support its mission to provide service dogs for veterans in need.
“Gretchen has been an incredible ambassador for Dogs Save Lives, igniting a spark among the communities we serve to give back to the men and women who so bravely fought for our country,” said Neil Gill, president and CEO of Dogtopia. “Every time I see someone wearing a Dogs Save Lives T-shirt or a news piece about Gretchen’s journey, I’m reminded of how strong the Dogtopia network is and the power we have to change the world for good.”
The two-month campaign included speaking engagements hosted by Dogtopia franchisees in select markets across the country, including Boise, Colorado Springs, Denver, Kansas, Sacramento and San Jose. At these fundraising events, Evans was able to share her personal experience with service dogs following a traumatic brain injury and nearly total hearing loss which ended her 27-year military career. Along with hundreds in attendance, local communities were exposed to Evans’ impactful journey through print, television and radio interviews leading up to and following the events.
Dogtopia also touted Evans’ story on the campaign website where supporters could purchase limited-edition Dogs Save Lives T-shirts to benefit the Dogtopia Foundation. The shirts were largely embraced by the Dogtopia franchise network and worn by employees, pet parents and community supporters who advocated for the cause.
“I am extremely moved by the way the Dogtopia network and dog-loving communities across the U.S. have come together to hear my story and help unite more service dogs with veterans in need,” said Evans. “There are veterans across the country whose lives will be changed for the better because of this incredible campaign. Dogs really do save lives!”