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Dalmatian holding PupPals sign

Do you know of a child that needs cheering up? AKC Education knows the power that canines have to bring joy and comfort to people.

The AKC PupPals Program seeks to provide children with a note from a canine friend just when they need it most.

  • About the Program +

    The AKC PupPals Program provides children in need of uplifting with a personalized note from and photo of a canine friend. Any child is eligible to receive a note, including children who are struggling with an illness, the illness/death of a loved one (human or pet), who are missing a deployed parent, or who are otherwise struggling through a difficult time.

    The parent/legal guardian may nominate their child for the program. Additionally, AKC Education is seeking photos of and information about dogs that can be shared with the children. You can learn more about enrolling your child or dog below.

  • Nominate a Child +

    Out of respect for the privacy of children and their information, we ask that only the parent/legal guardian nominate a child for a PupPal. If you know of a child that would benefit from this program, please share this link with the parent/legal guardian.

    The parent/legal guardian can nominate their child by filling out this form.

  • Enroll Your Dog +

    Would you like your dog to be an AKC PupPal? Dogs of any age or breed (including All-American Dogs) are welcome to join.

    You can enroll your dog by filling out this form.

  • Frequently Asked Questions +

    For Parents

    Are there any rules about who can receive a PupPal?

    Any child of any age can participate in the AKC PupPal Program. This program is designed to uplift children who are struggling through a difficult time, whether that be an illness, the illness/death of a loved one (human or dog), the deployment of a parent, etc. Any child that would enjoy a PupPal is welcome to join.

    Can I sign my student up for a PupPal?

    Along with a child’s parent, a teacher is often the first to know that a child is having a hard time. We encourage any teacher/coach etc. that believes a child would benefit from this program to share it with a child’s parent/guardian. Only the parent/legal guardian of a child can nominate their child for this program.

    When will my child receive their PupPal letter?

    Children will receive their PupPal letter in approximately 8-10 business days.

    How will my child receive their PupPal letter?

    The PupPal letter will be mailed to the address the parent/guardian lists on the form. If your child is hospitalized and cannot receive mail at home, please provide the hospital address.

    Do I need to share my child’s situation in order to apply?

    No. We do not require you to share your child’s situation/diagnosis etc. Please only provide the information you feel comfortable sharing. We do ask for information about your child (i.e. grade level, favorite color, favorite character, etc.) so that we may personalize the letter as much as possible.

    Will a dog owner receive information or communicate with my child?

    No. Dog owners submit their dog’s photo/information to AKC Education. We will utilize that information to create a letter to your child, which our department will send. Your child’s information will not be communicated to the dog owner and will be kept strictly confidential. It will not be shared with anyone outside of our staff.

    For Dog Owners

    What kind of dogs can apply to be a PupPal?

    Any dog of any breed (including All-American Dogs) are welcome to apply!

    Will my dog or I receive anything for joining the AKC PupPal Program?

    Yes! Each participating dog will receive a certificate and AKC PupPal bandana!

    Can I find out anything about the child that receives my dog’s PupPal letter?

    Unfortunately, no. The privacy of the children and their families is of the utmost importance. However, you can rest assured that the child that receives your dog’s letter will be very happy!


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