Apr
20
2016

The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) is pleased to announce that $3,636 was raised for Texas-based Austin Dog Alliance during AAHA’s 2016 annual veterinary conference.

AAHA has a strong history of giving back to local communities; each year, AAHA supports a different charity local to the AAHA Yearly Conference location. Because the AAHA conference was held in Austin this year (March 31 – April 3), AAHA selected the Austin Dog Alliance as its charity of choice.

During the conference, AAHA auctioned off a piece of artwork by keynote speaker and artist Phil Hansen alongside artwork created by AAHA’s chief executive officer. AAHA also hosted a karaoke event during which cash donations were raised. The $1,818 proceeds of the auction and the karaoke event were donated to Austin Dog Alliance – AAHA matched the donation, bringing the total donation to $3,636.

Since 2006, Austin Dog Alliance has been improving the lives of families and individuals through therapeutic programs that focus on the human-animal bond.

“As a veterinary organization, we are passionate about supporting programs that strengthen the human-animal bond,” said Michael Cavanaugh, DVM, DABVP (C/F), chief executive officer of AAHA. “Austin Dog Alliance is a wonderful organization that does work that benefits both pets and people. That’s a win-win in our book.”

The money raised will benefit the Austin Dog Alliance’s Special Dogs for Special Needs Program.

The Special Dogs for Special Needs program provides the following types of dogs:

  • Psychiatric Service Dog – for children older than 13 and adults who are not veterans
  • Emotional Support Dog – for children with a disability
  • Therapy Dog for a School or Nursing Home – for schools and residents of nursing homes

"We were thrilled to be included as the beneficiary of AAHA's convention this year and are so grateful for the generous support of the association's membership,” said Austin Dog Alliance Executive Director Debi Krakar. “The money raised and donated to our Special Dogs for Special Needs program will support costs associated with veterinary care and training of the dogs before they are matched with an adopter as a service dog.” 

Most of the dogs entering Austin Dog Alliance’s 8-12 month training program come from local shelters. They're in need of a loving, appreciative home, and that's what they get as a service dog with Austin Dog Alliance. In return they change - and in some cases save - the life of their adopter.

“Our programs are based on the premise that dogs are not only treasured companion animals, but with the right structure and training have the potential to make a powerful differences in peoples' lives and in our community,” Krakar said. “We've seen first-hand the change that happens when a dog goes home, and it's with support like that of AAHA that we're able to continue making a difference."

The 2017 yearly conference will be held in Nashville, Tenn. March 30 – April 2.

Visit AAHA’s website for more information about AAHA. You can also read or link to this news there.

Photo credit: © iStock/Shelley Dennis

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