SunDog Boarding Kennel in Traverse City is participating in an online grant contest to grow their business and help more dogs and their owners. The Mission Main Street Grants are awarded by Chase with LinkedIn as a Premier Sponsor. In September, they will be awarding 20 businesses with $100,000 in grants each. Right now is the first round of voting. Competing businesses need to gather 250 votes to move into the next round. Currently, SunDog has 261 votes and voting ends on June 19th. More votes would show enthusiastic community support for their grant application. You can vote for them at the link here.
The SunDog kennel is a safe, fun and relaxed environment to board your dogs when you are away. There is 1500 sq. foot addition to the home of owner, Allison Merrill, designed for the dogs who stay with them. The dogs are not “kenneled” during the course of the day and are allowed to socialize with other dogs if they desire. The space is fully air conditioned and has in-floor heat for the winter months. Each dog has its own private laminate and tempered glass suite where they have their comfy beds, personal items and food-related items. There is plenty of room to play inside with couches, rugs and toys and also room in the office to lounge or spend time with staff. There is a 900 sq. ft. yard on the south side of the building where dogs can enjoy the sun and tape a nap. The side play yard is 20,000 sq. ft. and is surrounded by a 6′ high wood privacy fence. Within the play yard is a lot of grass, shade trees, large pine trees and space to play with a tennis ball or Frisbee.
Merrill is also on the Board of Directors of the Military Working Dog Team Support Association and regularly sends care packages to K9 teams working overseas in the military for both human and canines. The mission of the MWDTSA includes supporting current dog handler teams, supporting veteran handler events and causes, supporting retired military working dogs and supporting war dog/dog team memorials.
Merill, who has over 20 years of animal care experience, has many plans for the money should her company be awarded a grant. In her application, she listed some of the following plans:
• Hire one employee shortly after grant arrives.
• Install solar panels & small wind mill to become self sufficient and start to become off grid.
• Install GenPac generator. They currently have a standard generator. In the harsh winters and power outages, the GenPac would save time, energy, & resources by automatically kicking on – and would also provide a safe shelter to any neighbor dogs who need assistance during their power outage.
• SunDog sits on almost three acres with about half untouched. SunDog has room to expand. They would like to install an indoor pool and exercise area for the campers.
With the money saved from the green energy, SunDog can then start up some programs they have been wanting to implement. Some of their long term goals include a Combat to Camp program where they provide a job to a veteran; writing a series of children’s books about dog care, rescue work, adoption, proper introduction to dogs, military working dogs and police K9s where proceeds could go back to these types of programs; and a Deployment program where SunDog sponsors and cares for dogs of active duty soldiers who have been deployed. Merrill is already currently watching a dog whose owner was deployed in the Air Force after all of his options backed out at the last minute. The dog came to her from North Carolina and Merill is using her own money to support the dog.
Two other Michigan companies have won the grant in the past but this would be the first animal-related company to win. Chase, its representatives and a group of 16 panelists, will decide which 20 businesses receive the grants in September.