Charity Dog Wash at Happy Tails Dog Spa to Benefit Military Dogs in Iraq - Washington Wizards Dance Team to Lend Support at Second Annual Event

North Bethesda, MD, July 05, 2006 --( Happy Tails Dog Spa, a luxury dog daycare franchise based in Bethesda, MD will hold its second annual dog wash fundraiser this July 15th. The company's charitable arm, K-9 Support, Inc., collects funds to send care packages to K-9 handlers and their dogs overseas. Last year's wash raised over $8500 in 5 hours and allowed the charity to send over 2 tons of packages.

Last Thanksgiving, the US Marines stationed at Camp Blue Diamond in Ramadi, Iraq narrowly escaped a serious attack. Cpl. Francisco Luyando and Ffax, his K-9 partner, saved the day when they uncovered over 40 pounds of explosives in a truck.

There are nearly 1500 military dogs in active service. Over 100 K-9 teams are currently deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan, where they sniff out bombs and hidden enemies. When Amy Nichols, CEO of Happy Tails Dog Spa, read that temperatures at military bases in the Iraqi dessert can reach up to 120 degrees, she decided to organize a charity dog wash.

“My dogs and our four-legged clients lead such pampered lives, with everything from gourmet treats to luxurious beds – not to mention round-the-clock air conditioning,” Nichols says. “So many of us adore our dogs; wouldn’t it be nice to share some of that love with our K-9 troops? They like toys and treats too, and we could donate cooling pads to make their lives a little more comfortable.”

Jennifer Peacock of Fairfax was one of the 2005 event’s supporters. Parker, her Corgi Mix, joined 154 other dogs in bathing for a good cause. “It‘s the least we can do,” she said. Peacock has been recruiting Parker’s canine friends for Happy Tails’ second annual fundraiser. “What dog couldn’t use a bath in this heat? Besides, my daughter is really looking forward to meeting the Washington Wizards Dance Team!”

According to Nichols, Happy Tails was able to send two tons of supplies to K-9 troops in Iraq and Afghanistan with the $8500 raised during last year’s event. The company also supported eight adopted K-9 units with cooling pads and protective goggles for the dogs, and heat resistant clothing for the handlers. Last fall, Happy Tails launched K-9 Support, a permanent non-profit arm, to focus on ongoing support for military dogs as well as rescue and seeing-eye dogs.

The 2006 charity dog wash will be held at Happy Tails’ newly opened White Flint facility. “It’s a much bigger space than our Tysons Corner location,” says Nichols. “Last year, some of our K-9 supporters waited as long as 45 minutes for their turn!” In addition to the Washington Wizards Dance Team, the event’s sponsors include GoodDogz, a Fairfax non-profit that matches prospective dog owners with rescue groups, and Barkley Square, an Alexandria bakery that specializes in gourmet dog treats.

“We’re absolutely honored to be a part of this event,” says Beth Jackson, President of GoodDogz. Her organization will provide volunteer dog-washers. “Our mission is to facilitate life-long matches between new owners and their adopted pets. There’s no better example than the K-9 military units of the love and trust that can develop between two-legged and four-legged friends.”

For more information on Happy Tails Dog Spa’s Second Annual Charity Dog Wash, please contact Amy Nichols at or 240-514-0210. The event will be held at 4920 Wyaconda Road in North Bethesda, Maryland between 11:00 am and 4:00pm on Saturday, July 15. Children are welcome. Refreshments will be served for people and dogs. The Washington Wizards Dance Team will be on hand to greet supporters and sign autographs. A $10 per dog wash donation is requested.

Happy Tails Dog Spa
Alexandra Bowens