Memphis Animal Services Roxie Training Academy Fund

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For questions regarding the Donation, payment options or UNICO contact Michael Spano at


Animal Services Roxie Training Academy  Mission

The UNICO Foundation is raising money to fund The Roxie (the pom) Conway Training Academy at Memphis Animal Services.   The training academy is to promote successful pet adoptions.  Many pets are being returned due to unrealistic owner expectations of an untrained adopted pet.  With the Training Academy program, pets will get some basic training to ensure successful pet adoptions.

The Inspiration

The Legend of Roxie – a Great Service Dog for Jack Conway

Five weeks before Roxie (the pom) passed, I was eating left over spaghetti while sitting on the couch.  Roxie started barking at me (which was very rare), I didn’t pay attention to her so she started to kick the couch to get my attention.  I still didn’t pay attention to her.  Finally, she placed her paws on my knees then suddenly raised her paws and hit the plate of spaghetti and I was shocked to see the plate of spaghetti fly up into the air and land upside down on the couch.  Only then did I realize that she was trying to tell me something.  I immediately took my blood pressure.  It was 87/56, much too low for me.  Unknown to me I was going into kidney failure due to the chronically low blood pressure.  My medical issues were resolved in the subsequent months thanks to Roxie.  She was the kind of dog that just mesmerized everyone.  The way she pranced and the way she held herself.  It was love at first sight for me and many, many other people.

Why we do it

To secure funding that will provide training to precious animals by qualified trainers to help ensure that shelter pets will be able to stay in the homes of the loving pet owners that save them by following these objectives:

  1. To help reduce/ eliminate animal euthanasia due to lack of space.
  2. To support increasing the number of foster homes through incentives.
  3. To support increasing the number of volunteers through incentives.
  4. To support dog training before adoption.
  5. To support programs to send trainees to adopted animal homes post adoption to reduce relapses into previous behavior patterns.
  6. To support research on animal assist dogs (animals) to quantify benefits to patients and dogs.
  7. To support the acquisition of service dogs within the community.
For questions regarding payment options or about UNICO, contact Michael Spano at