Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Friday 23 July |
Saint of the Day: St. Bridget of Sweden
home iconInspiring Stories
line break icon

How a 19-year-old is using puppies to create community


Stitch | Twitter | Fair Use

Sophia Swinford - published on 09/05/18

He may be non-verbal, but this teen loves to socialize.

Nineteen-year-old Troy Melnyk is receiving a lot of praise and gratitude recently for bringing together a community around a shared love of dogs.

Melnyk, who is non-verbal as the result of Angelman’s syndrome, shares a tight bond with his own small dog, Izzy. But when he and Izzy couldn’t find suitable areas for them to play, Melnyk realized that many of their neighbors were facing the same problem.

And so the Pop Up Puppy Party (PUPP) was born. Once a month, Melnyk hosts a puppy party with food and drinks for the humans and treats for the pups, and the reception has been great!

“That’s really all I want, for people to recognize him as part of our community and a worthwhile part of our community — and it’s happening,” Troy’s mother said.

The Pop Up Puppy Party has become such a hit that residents are looking into giving the event a more permanent place in the local community, but the good that’s already been accomplished has already made Melnyk’s efforts worthwhile.


Read more:
These dogs are helping kids learn to read — and it’s adorable (PHOTOS)

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Kathleen N. Hattrup
2 Bible verses when you’re weary down to the soul
Cerith Gardiner
8 Powerful quotes from Nightbirde that will fill you with hope
John Burger
Alumni sue after this Catholic saint’s name was removed fro...
J-P Mauro
Italian police dressed as priests nab scammers disguised as cardi...
Daniel Esparza
Who are the cherubim in the Bible?
Blessed Carlo Acutis
J-P Mauro
The Diocese of Brooklyn acquires first-class relic of Bl. Carlo A...
Philip Kosloski
Why is Latin the official language of the Church, instead of Aram...
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.