Stardogz Inc. is celebrating its first year of operation this month. The non-profit was born in February of 2022 by co-founders Nicolette Simpson and Lee August to subsidize wellness care for dogs in the Roanoke Valley and surrounding areas.
“Along with our additional board members Kelly Cassidy, Robin Wright, and Missy Sharp, we launched our endeavors in June of 2022 and began services in October."
Simpson and August say since then they’ve been joined by 15 volunteers and have performed more than 150 services.
“The services available to our applicants include: payments to the pet’s current veterinarian for yearly wellness visits (with vaccines), payments to pet’s current groomer (up to 4 times a year), pet related transportation, and emergency pet sitting for people who are ill or have been hospitalized. Free nail trims, face trims, and sanitation trims are available to our applicants as well, provided by Temple of the Dog Grooming in Salem, VA. We work primarily with volunteers to help us accomplish these goals.”
Simpson and August say the services are available to those who fall below the federal income poverty level and those on disability.
“Applications for approval of services can be found on our website Stardogzva.org. Here you can donate, view the services we provide, the counties we cover, apply for aid, or request to become a volunteer.”
The idea for the non-profit was something born out of the pandemic.
“We witnessed a large portion of elderly and disabled Southwest Virginians struggle to maintain wellness for their pets. Many apartment complexes require vaccinations for pets and many people did not have transportation or means to meet that criteria. Because pets play a huge role in mental health, we decided to provide additional benefits for those in need by supplying payments for the bare necessities required to maintain the health of their dog.”
To help finance the services, Stardogz has been on the receiving end of several fundraising events.
They sold 80 games at a recent bowling tournament to provide for dogs in need. Their next fundraiser is July 15th at the Pizza Den in Salem.
Simpson and August would like to grow their organization to be able to serve the entire Commonwealth of Virginia.
You can find more information about upcoming events or other ways you can help at their Facebook page or on Instagram at @stardogzinc or at www.stardogzva.org.