For precautionary reasons related to coronavirus (COVID-19), we are unable to gather for DogFest Long Island scheduled on September 12 at Tanger Outlets Deer Park in Deer Park, NY.
But we can still gather virtually to celebrate the human-canine bond and support Canine Companions mission of enhancing the lives of people with disabilities.
As a non-profit organization that relies 100% on fundraising and private donations, we hope you will register and fundraise using the DogFest Long Island fundraising platform. Your efforts will support the mission of Canine Companions - to enhance the lives of people with disabilities by providing expertly trained assistance dogs free of charge. With the unforeseen economic changes tied to the coronavirus, every DogFest dollar raised is even more critical this year.
Gather your friends, family and dogs for a day of fun activities, inspiring speakers, dog demonstrations, entertainment and much more! Registration is free. Fundraising is encouraged.
We've made DogFest Long Island an interactive event so you can participate from home and on social media through our Facebook event page. Participate in a variety of ways:
10:30am - Welcome! Dress your pup in their DogFest bandana and get ready for the festivities.
11:15am - Hear from one of our graduates.
12:00pm - Participate in our human/ canine costume contest.
12:30pm - Program and demonstration.
3:00pm - DogFest ends - See you next year!
Get a Free T-Shirt! Anyone who registers and raises $125 or more by August 12 will receive a commemorative DogFest t-shirt to wear on event day! T-shirts will be sent by mail.
Receive an exclusive DogFest gift. Individuals who raise at least $250 for Canine Companions will receive a special DogFest gift. All funds must be received by September 26 to qualify. Click here for details!
Have any questions about registering, forming a team or donating? Click here for FAQs!
Graduate Story: Gabriel & Sundance II
Gabriel is a 4th grader at Stratford Road Elementary School in Plainview, NY. At 18 months old, he was diagnosed with autism. He has a difficult time paying attention and his mind and body have a tendency to wander. A few years ago, Gabriel's mother, Heather, noticed how Gabriel enjoyed interacting with her sister's dog, Tyson. Gabriel would sit calmly petting Tyson as the dog leaned into him. Shortly after, at a local street fair, Gabriel ran up to a dog who was at a table promoting Canine Companions for Independence. That was when Heather discovered how Gabriel could benefit from an expertly trained assistance dog. After visiting Canine Companions' website and learning more about the program, Heather started envisioning all the ways an assistance dog could help Gabriel and decided to apply.
In August 2019, Gabriel and Heather were matched with Sundance II (completely free of charge) as a Skilled Companion team. Sundance has brought so much love, not only to Gabriel, but to the entire household. Sundance has transformed Gabriel's life in so many positive ways. In the past, Gabriel has struggled to fall asleep. Now he falls asleep quickly with his best friend by his side. When out in public, Sundance helps Gabriel stay attentive to the task at hand and helps him not to wander. Sundance also helps Gabriel socially, as he proudly talks about his assistance dog to anyone and everyone he meets. Gabriel has been making progress in all areas of his life and so much of that is because of Sundance.
Heather is looking forward to another year of raising funds for DogFest Long Island. She is so grateful to Canine Companions for helping to transform her son's life and is eager to do all she can to help make more life-changing matches.
Click here to read more stories about our graduates who've been impacted by our mission.