About Us

Caring for K9s and Law Enforcement

Our Mission

Successfully secure and improve the well-being of law enforcement K9s while on active duty and beyond

Why Going To The Dogs Was Formed?

Our foundation was formed to raise awareness of the needs of law enforcement K9s in our community. Going To The Dogs benefits law enforcement agencies by purchasing protective vests (bullet proof / stab proof) for K9s in both Missouri and Kansas. Each vest costs approximately $1,000 which is minimal compared to the price of a K9. Police K9s are very specialized dogs and will cost a department from $10,000 to $15,000 per dog.Going To The Dogs bridge the gap between budgetary constraints for the department and buying vests. Interesting in donating? Please click on the Donate button at the top of this page.

It’s important to keep first responders safe while they are protecting their communities. Whether it’s human life or, in our case, the life of a K9, Going To The Dogs wants to make sure the fourlegged officer has the same chance of survival when responding to a dangerous situation.

Going To The Dogs bridges the gap between budgetary constraints for law enforcement departments and buying vests.

Interested in donating? Please click the Donate button at the top of this page.

Why K9s Are Critical to Law Enforcement

Selected K9s receive specialized training and work with their handler for six to eight weeks before they become part of the department. These K9s are important for law enforcement agencies because their noses can sniff 300,000 – 500,000 times stronger than the human nose. This allows them to follow a trail undetecteable to humans, and is useful when looking for explosives, narcotics and/or to apprehend a suspect.

Help Us With Our Mission


Number of Vests Purchased

Our Story

It started with a concept from watching the Rose Bowl Parade January 2014 and morphed into an idea that launched January 2015. Going to the Dogs, a 501c3, focuses its efforts on generating donations and assisting law enforcement agencies from the acquisition of dogs to retirement and beyond.

Going to the Dogs is made up of a group of passionate citizens who gathered to start a grassroots organization that will help law enforcement agencies acquire, sustain and retire first responder K9s throughout the Midwest.

Our Team

Donna Wilson

Donna Wilson

Founder and Executive Director

Donna had the vision and passion to start Going to the Dogs because of her desire to make a positive difference in the community.  She currently serves on the board for the FBI Kansas City Citizens Academy Association, and has spent time working on March of Dimes, United Way, ALS campaigns, served on her church council and her homes association board.  She has been  instrumental in their success and helping them exceed their goals.  She looks forward to the positive impact she can make in helping K9s and local law enforcement.
Jim Wilson

Jim Wilson


Jim joins the Board with his wife of 29 years and Founder of Going To The Dogs, Donna Wilson. He volunteers for Ronald McDonald House, ASTM and in the past the Boy Scouts of America. Together with his wife Donna, they share the same goal in helping support K9s.

Valerie Coyazo

Valerie Coyazo

Event Planning Liaison

Val has had a passion for dogs and for over 16 years she has had the companionship of man’s best friend. She believes in the Going To The Dogs’ mission, of helping law enforcement agencies throughout the entire states of Missouri and Kansas and assist with K9s needs. Everyone who knows Val knows her passion for the furry four-legged friends, and she proud to be a part of a group who can make a difference in the lives of the officers and their K9 partners.
Molly Williams

Molly Williams

Board Member

Molly is involved with Going to the Dogs because of its positive impact on the community she gets to call home. Dogs have a way of saving the day; her hope is that Going to the Dogs will do the same in return for the brave law enforcement officers and K9s.

Donna Thornton

Donna Thornton


Donna has a passion for the Nonprofit World and the missions it serves.  Going to the Dogs was an excellent opportunity for her to be a part of an organization with a mission to serve the community in which she lives and loves

Wayne Willis

Wayne Willis

Marketing Director

Wayne signed on as Marketing Director for the Going To The Dogs board of directors in 2016.  He brings more than 15 years marketing expertise and previous experience working on the board of directors for the American Marketing Association of Kansas City.  A lifelong animal lover, Wayne was excited for the opportunity to join the Going To The Dogs board.  “I was thrilled to be asked to be a part of this wonderful group.  I think Donna and Jim have done a great job building a unique organization that all of Kansas City can be proud of.”



Tracy Spradlin

Tracy Spradlin

Attorney and Legal Counsel

Tracy earned her bachelor’s degree in 2008 in Convergence Journalism from the University of Missouri School of Journalism in Columbia, Missouri. Her studies included working on Dateline for NBC Universal in New York City in addition to being employed at Channel One News.

Following graduation and after working for law firms in Columbia, MO, she attended the University of Missouri – Kansas City School of Law.  She obtained her J.D. in December 2012. Then in May 2013, Tracy opened her own practice, The Law Office of Tracy L. Barnes, and focuses primarily on criminal defense and DUI. She also serves as Guardian ad Litem in Jackson County, Missouri, for children in juvenile and family court matters.

Tracy has received numerous awards for the work she has done and continues to do as a board members to many  nonprofit organizations in the community.

When she isn’t practicing law, Tracy is passionate about supporting her community through her work with The Junior League of Kansas City, Missouri, the Women’s Employment Network, The Midwest Innocence Project and now serving on the Board of Directors for the newly launched non-profit “Going to the Dogs, LLC.”