Nonprofit Southside doggy daycare staffed by adults with special needs

Alex & Ali Foundation has opened a nonprofit doggy day care staffed by young adults with developmental disabilities.

Happy Hounds is the second outreach of the Alex and Ali Foundation, a local nonprofit group that empowers young adults with autism and other developmental disabilities through meaningful employment opportunities.

Jennifer and Andrew Parker founded the nonprofit in 2014 and named it after their son, Alex, and his best friend, Ali Callahan. Alex and Ali both have autism. Throughout Alex’s childhood, he benefited from resources and opportunities that were available to him. But as he grew older, there were fewer and fewer opportunities to engage with the community and be productive.

Happy Hounds, located at 111 W. Stop 11 Road, will host a dog-friendly open house this Sunday, Aug. 30. (Submitted photo)

This challenge led the Parkers to open Happy Hounds, a doggy daycare that will be staffed by young adults with developmental disabilities. Happy Hounds aims to provide these young adults with jobs that are safe, meaningful and stable. Happy Hounds volunteers and employees will receive career coaching from the manager on staff, training in dog care and the opportunity to hone their social skills while interacting with customers.

In addition to benefiting the young adults who work at Happy Hounds, the doggy day care will provide its furry patrons with more one-on-one attention, play time and cuddle time than many other doggy day cares offer. The doggy day care also boasts nearly an acre of fenced land where dogs can enjoy outdoor play time.

Happy Hounds operates out of a home that is now commercially zoned, making dogs feel right at home during their stay. Happy Hounds will open on Sept. 1 at 111 W. Stop 11 Road, Indianapolis, IN. There will be a dog-friendly open house Aug. 30 from 2-5 p.m., where you can meet the employees and see the facility.

For more information on Happy Hounds, visit happyhoundsindy.com.