Dogtopia Foundation Making a Difference in the Lives of Returned Veterans

The Dogtopia Foundation instills three key pillars into each Dogtopia daycare center. The most prevalent pillar stands out as Service Dogs for Veterans. Through the fundraising provided by Dogtopia daycare centers hand in hand with the Dogtopia Foundation, returned veterans and service dogs are united through dedicated organizations such as Next Step Service Dogs.


Adam Bond served in the Army for four years and completed a couple years in the reserves. Upon coming home, he spent an inordinate amount of time by himself. He describes himself as a “hermit” who rarely left the house. This was when Bond was introduced to Next Step Service Dogs.


Adam Bond served in the Army for four years and completed a couple years in the reserves. Upon coming home, he spent an inordinate amount of time by himself. He describes himself as a “hermit” who rarely left the house. This was when Bond was introduced to Next Step Service Dogs.


“It has been the best decision I’ve made probably in the last 20-something years,” Bond says when thinking about his involvement with Next Step Service Dogs.


Next Step Service Dogs trains and pairs a service dog with a returned veteran to accompany and assist them in their day-to-day living. Before taking a dog home, the veteran trains and bonds with the dog in a controlled training setting. Bond participated in the training process to educate and connect with a service dog in training. Before too long, he found his match with a black lab named Sara.


“Every week, we’d be hands on working together,” said Bond when describing the 3-to-4-month training process that he and Sara went through to prepare for certification.


Bond’s life has changed immensely since being paired with Sara. He says he feels more outgoing and more willing to embark on new adventures.


“One of the first things I noticed (by having a service dog) is how much more extroverted I am and how much more I’m out of the house,” said Bond. “Before Sara, I was a hermit and now I’m out all day on the hiking trails and meeting people. It’s easier to meet people with a dog,”


Living alongside of Sara has provided Bond with a variety of new experiences and newfound confidence. With Sara by his side, Bond has started exploring his surroundings by trying new restaurants, parks, and events.


“I would hate to think where my life would be without Sara,” said Bond. “I think I’d be in a lot worse place without her in my life.”


Like so many other Veterans that have benefited from the companionship of a dedicated service dog, Bond hopes more people will take advantage of programs like Next Step Service Dogs.  


Interested in donating to the Dogtopia Foundation to support a service dog uniting with a returned veteran? Click here to donate today!