Grant of $10,000 will extend efforts to help service dogs and disabled people in Virginia live their best lives.

Charlottesville, Feb. 2, 2017 Service Dogs of Virginia of Charlottesville today announced it has been awarded a $10,000 grant from the Petco Foundation to support its work training service dogs for disabled persons in Virginia.

Service Dogs of Virginia is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization that raises, trains, and places dogs to assist people with disabilities. Highly trained dogs perform a multitude of tasks that allow greater personal freedom and independence.

Since 2000, Service Dogs of Virginia has placed over 60 service dogs with individuals who need physical assistance, have severe Type 1 diabetes, or are children on the autism spectrum.

The grant was made possible through the Petco Foundation’s annual Helping Heroes fundraising campaign, in partnership with Natural Balance Pet Foods. During the campaign each October, customers are invited to donate in Petco stores across the country to support service and therapy animals and organizations.

The Petco Foundation investment will help to fund the training of a service dog. Service Dogs of Virginia (SDV) does not charge clients for their dogs nor does SDV receive any government support. SDV relies on the generosity of individuals, businesses, and philanthropic organizations to make its work on behalf of individuals with disabilities possible.

“The support from the Petco Foundation allows us at Service Dogs of Virginia to breathe a bit more easily. It takes close to $40,000 from an eight-week-old puppy to placement at two years of age to raise and train a service dog. We are grateful for Petco’s support” said Peggy Law, Executive Director.

The Petco Foundation has served as a voice for companion animals across the country since 1999. Today, with more than 8,000 local animal welfare partners across the country, the Petco Foundation donates approximately $15 million a year to make a difference in the lives of millions of animals. The organization is funded through donations raised during fundraisers conducted in Petco’s more than 1,300 stores across the country, as well as from Petco associates, vendors and corporate contributions. Money raised helps fund animal welfare organizations, spay and neuter efforts, animal-assisted therapy programs and humane education. The majority of the funds raised remain in the communities where they were raised, as well as animal welfare efforts nationwide.

For more information about Service Dogs of Virginia or the Petco Foundation, visit or Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or by using the hashtag #PetcoFoundation.