As Groucho Marx once said, “Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.” Dogs have brought joy and love into humans’ lives for centuries, serving as loyal companions, hard workers, and best friends. While millions of people, including over half of U.S. households, experience the rewards of pet ownership, some, like Aaron Wesley Smith of Orange County, CA, have an extra special bond with and appreciation for their four-legged friends.
Aaron Wesley Smith, president of Retrolock Construction and former president of AMI Hospitality, an interior finish company in Las Vegas, is known as much for his construction and business acumen as his dedication to animal welfare. In addition to being a lifetime dog owner, as a businessman, he was always ahead of his time in the dog-friendly office movement.
“His offices were dog-friendly before it was cool,” said a spokesperson.
Now an acclaimed executive renowned in construction circles around the Southwest, Aaron Wesley Smith grew up as a farm kid and spent many a day working with animals. In addition to his dog-friendly workspaces, he’s carried his respect and love of animals into his adult life in the form of numerous dog rescue and animal welfare charities, including work with the Nevada Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA). He and his wife Tania have also committed to saving rescue dogs via fostering, adoption, or donating toward necessary care whenever possible.
“Dogs don’t have a voice and we need advocates to care for them and protect them,” Aaron Wesley Smith said. “The amazing nurturing warmth and bond of a rescue dog is like no other.”
According to the Humane Society, approximately 7.6 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year. Of those, approximately 3.9 million are dogs. While Aaron Smith and fellow advocates dream of a day when all animals are safe, cared for, and loved, in the meantime, he and his family look forward to helping as many animals in need as possible in the Southern California community.
In addition to animal welfare charities, Aaron Wesley Smith and Retrolock regularly contribute to other community charities including the Posse Foundation and Giving Circle. The Posse Foundation helps high school students with demonstrated exceptional leadership potential who may have been overlooked in the traditional college selection process by awarding them leadership training opportunities and college scholarships. The Giving Circle helps families in need via the Suffolk Society.