child hugging dog
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Purina Cares: Sponsoring a Litter of Mental Health Support Puppy

black lab puppy with duo dogs logo

Fostering for the Future of Mental Health

Purina is proud to be the first corporate sponsor to raise and train an entire litter of puppies for Duo Dogs. These puppies are an integral part of the nonprofit's mission to provide certified facility and service dogs to organizations and youth with mental, emotional and physical needs.

purina team and duo dogs team pairing a new puppy with a volunteer

Heroes in the Making

Purina employees stepped up to serve as volunteer puppy raisers, welcoming eight-week-old Labrador Retrievers into their homes and leading socialization and basic training.  

After 16 months, these puppies will move on to advanced training to prepare for placement where they’ll be able to make a difference for the youth and their mental health.

Meet the Puppies

black labrador retriever named Busy

Busy

HANDLER: Megan T. 

FAVORITE ACTIVITY: Making new friends (especially if belly rubs are involved!) 

black labrador retriever named Charlie

Charlie

HANDLER: Neil D. 

FAVORITE ACTIVITY: Playing fetch

black labrador retriever named Checkers

Checkers

HANDLER: Noa H. 

FAVORITE ACTIVITY: Going on walks and chasing butterflies 

black labrador retriever named Dani

Danforth (Dani)

HANDLER: Kristine C. 

FAVORITE ACTIVITY: Getting the zoomies and meeting other puppies 

black labrador retriever named DC

DC (Dog Chow)

HANDLER: Ryan S. 

FAVORITE ACTIVITY: Sneaking into bed for morning snuggles 

black labrador retriever named Fancy

Fancy

HANDLER: Paula B. 

FAVORITE ACTIVITY: Training outings to local businesses

black labrador retriever named Lou

Lou

HANDLER: Amanda J. 

FAVORITE ACTIVITY: Playing with my big brothers 

black labrador retriever named Ralston

Ralston

HANDLER: Emily L. 

FAVORITE ACTIVITY: Meeting new people (especially kids!) 

black labrador retriever named Red

Red

HANDLER: Elizabeth H. 

FAVORITE ACTIVITY: Eating—I’ll do anything for a snack! 

student hugging a duo dog

Learn About Our Puppies’ Future Careers

Dogs have the power to support people in many different ways. Discover the differences between certified facility dogs and service dogs, and see how our puppies could help serve youth struggling with mental health.