The Norwalk River Valley Trail is $5,000 closer to funding the planned WilWalk section of the trail, thanks to a donation from Canine Company, the at-home pet services provider. In addition to supporting new trail development, Canine Company has donated four doggy waste bag stations for the Wilton trailheads. The gifts were made as part of the company’s 35th anniversary celebration.

“We wanted to mark this important anniversary with a gift for our hometown, which has been good to us for so many years,” said Canine Company president Jennifer Hill. “The NRVT is a great resource for Wilton families, and it’s wonderful that our dogs are welcome to walk the trails with us. We think this donation is a great way to help our neighbors keep their pets happy and healthy.”

According to a recent trail census, NRVT’s Wilton Loop averages more than 1,300 visits each week, and 19% of the visits are for dog walks.

“Some of the NRVT’s biggest fans are people who walk their dogs on the Trail. We’re delighted to have the support of a highly regarded company so well known to the dog-lover’s community,” Pat Sesto, president of the Friends of the NRVT. “We’re appreciative of the Canine Company’s generous help in constructing more trail, as well as being a title sponsor for the Mutt Strut on May 5.”

The WilWalk section of the NRVT is a planned a two-mile trail that will connect the Wilton and Norwalk portions of NRVT, the planned 33 miles of trail connecting Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk to Rogers Park in Danbury, passing through Wilton, Ridgefield, and Redding along the way. The WilWalk part of the trail will be funded by a $1.3-million grant from the state if the Friends of the NRVT raise a 20% match. The first $132,000 of that match must be raised by May 1, and the balance by September. With the gift from Canine Company, the trail has now raised $135,000.

Canine Company, which has been based in Wilton since 1988, was born of a family’s love for dogs. After losing one of their dogs to a car, Carol and Henry Hill launched a company to help other pet-loving families keep their pets in their own yards. Today, under the leadership of their daughter Jennifer Hill, the company’s mission is to keep pets happy, safe and healthy, with the Invisible Fence brand pet containment system, dog obedience training, mobile dog grooming and pet sitting.

Visit the NRVT website for more information about the trail. Donations can be made through the website, by mail at P.O. Box 174, Georgetown, CT 06829 or by contacting executive director Charlie Taney via email or by calling 203.536.5618.

Photo (above):  Canine Company president & CEO Jennifer Hill (center) and company employees present a $5000 check to Pat Sesto, president of the Friends of NRVT (in red coat) as employee dogs look on.