September 7, 2016

Sharon Fletcher, Director of Marketing & Communications

PLEASANTON, CA--(September 7, 2016) - Maddie's Fund®, a national family foundation based in Pleasanton, CA, awarded Dogs Playing for Life™ (DPFL) $50,000 to expand the reach of their lifesaving education program model to 10 additional at-risk animal shelters across the nation. This program provides behavioral health enrichment for shelter dogs in the form of playgroups. DPFL will deliver educational seminars for not only the shelter staff and volunteers at these 10 locations, but also to all the neighboring rescue groups' and shelters' staff and volunteers, for maximum lifesaving impact within a community.

Dogs Playing for Life (DPFL), a non-profit organization that has worked with over 150 shelters in the U.S. and Canada, is leading an industry-wide shift to incorporate daily playgroups and enrichment for dogs as a standard of care. Founded by renowned dog trainer Aimee Sadler, DPFL uses play groups to help socialize, evaluate, and change the lives of shelter dogs.

"Thanks to Maddie, Dogs Playing for Life can expand our reach and directly impact countless shelter dogs now and in the future," said Aimee Sadler, DPFL's Founder. "Playgroup training empowers staff and volunteers to provide a better life for the dogs in their care. By reaching these 10 additional shelters, we will not only impact the dogs in those shelters, but also the lives of those who adopt them." Sadler concluded.

"We are excited to provide the resources to help expand DPFL's reach to more communities across the nation, to enhance shelter dogs chances of being adopted, and therefore, saving countless lives for years to come," said Dr. Sheila D'Arpino, Director of Research and Veterinary Behaviorist at Maddie's Fund. "Some dogs deteriorate when housed in kennels with limited social interaction. Playgroups are critical for animal welfare on the whole and are a key component to keep dogs behaviorally healthy, so that their quality of life is improved while they are waiting for a home."

About Maddie's Fund

Maddie's Fund® is a family foundation established in 1994 by Dave and Cheryl Duffield and is the fulfillment of a promise to their inspirational dog, Maddie. She provided them much joy from 1987 – 1997 and continues to inspire them today.

The Foundation has awarded over $275.7 million in grants toward increased community lifesaving, pioneering shelter medicine education and establishing foster care as a standard across the U.S.

Maddie's Fund proudly offers the industry a national voice, important funding opportunities for bold ideas, learning resources and access to collaborate and share innovative solutions. The Foundation invests its resources in a commitment to keeping pets and people together, creating a safety net of care for animals in need and operating within a culture of inclusiveness and humility. #ThanksToMaddie.