Not sure what to do for Mom for Mother’s Day? How about getting those spots out of Spot? (Or Lucky, Rover, Champ, etc.) Heartland Service Dogs of Mokena is holding a charity dog wash on May 6 at I’ll Be Doggone (9620 Willow Lane) in Mokena from 11am to 3pm.
Started in 2011, Heartland Service Dogs is an organization that provides specially trained dogs for adults and children with mobility and hearing impairments. Their goal is to bring hope, inspiration and independence to deserving individuals in Illinois and the surrounding area through the use of their highly trained service dogs. A Service Dog is a dog that has been specially trained to perform tasks for a person with a disability. Guide dogs, hearing dogs, mobility dogs and seizure alert dogs are just a few of the many types of service dogs, and the cost to raise and train one dog could cost anywhere between $5,000 and $20,000.
"Currently we have 2 puppies in training and hope to increase that by 6-8 more this year,” said Linda Fox, founder of the organization. “The demand is growing and just last month we had 6 new inquiries. As more people become aware of Heartland Service Dogs, I'm sure we will receive even more calls. Recently I was on the phone for 2 hours with a mother seeking a service dog for her son.
She was so relieved to be able to find a way to help her son. It takes many months for a puppy to grow into a skilled service dog, so it’s a lengthy process. We are trying to recruit more people who want to learn to be trainers, so we can train more puppies and help more people. This is our first fundraiser, and we hope to raise some money to cover some of the vet costs and purchase training materials."
The fundraiser will be indoors and the volunteers at Heartland will wash and blow-dry your dog while you wait. All dogs will be washed at a professional dog wash station and only professional products will be used. If your dog needs a special shampoo, they will be more than happy to use your product. A private bath area is also available for the dog who may have special needs. You are more than welcome to watch or assist in your dog’s bath or do-it-yourself if you prefer. Cost is just $15 per dog. People treats and dog treats will be provided free of charge by I’ll Be Doggone and you are welcomes to shop the store and learn more about Heartland Service Dogs while you wait. They will also be raffling off a basket and a few grab bags at no extra cost.
Appointments are being scheduled, with the last appointment time at 2:45pm. Please email your name, phone number, and preferred time to HeartlandSvcDog@yahoo.com. All dogs must have current rabies tags. Walk-ins are also welcome. They are also accepting donations of old phones (cell, cordless & desk top), leashes, collars, dog toys, throw rugs and plastic laundry baskets. You can also become a fan of their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/HeartlandServiceDogs.