Dogtopia offers daycare, boarding, and spa services to its furry clients. The company has over 100 locations in the United States and Canada, boasting that 100% of dogs that visit leave happy. Dogtopia locations come equipped with webcams for dog parents to watch their dogs play with others.
The company’s non-profit branch, The Dogtopia Foundation, operates with the slogan, “Fetch it forward,” using dogs to positively change the world. The foundation has three initiatives: service dogs for veterans, youth literacy programs and employment initiatives for adults with autism.
On their website, The Dogtopia Foundation states, “We provide support for employment programs for adults with autism by actively employing individuals with autism in our Dogtopia stores. We also support dog-related entrepreneurial ventures for adults with autism.”
Yahoo! Finance reports that as part of this program, Dogtopia released “a system-wide Autism Employment Manual to equip the company’s 100+ franchise locations with the tools needed to hire employees with autism.” The company partnered with the Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center and The Dogtopia Foundation to create the employment manual. The manual has five sections that help managers at Dogtopia stores hire and train diverse employees to be successful.
Neil Gill, CEO of Dogtopia and Chairman of The Dogtopia Foundation, told Yahoo! Finance, “Across the country, Dogtopia currently employs nearly 20 adults living with autism, and we are hoping this manual provides a valuable tool to help ensure our daycare centers are equipped to hire an adult with autism and ensure a positive experience for both them and the team.”
About the initiative, Connie Emery-Walker told Yahoo! Finance “Our team is proud of our social mission to employ individuals with autism and our pet parents have thanked us for what we are doing for the autism community.” Emery-Walker is Dogtopia’s East Coast Corporate Store Operations Manager; one of her stores currently employs 10 workers with autism.
The manual is a great step in helping adults with autism become self-sufficient. As workers with many skill sets to offer, Dogtopia has given adults with autism the opportunity to showcase those unique skills. The Dogtopia Foundation will continue its initiative to employ adults with autism, as well as its other two endeavors with veterans and youth literacy.
To find out more about The Dogtopia Foundation and how you can get involved, visit their website.