My good friend, Mark Strong, who lives in Dallas, Texas, introduced me to an organization called Mutt 22. The 22 represents 22 veterans that take their life each day due to the many struggles that develop as a result from their service to our country. These struggles end up being ones they just can't seem to bear, and they need our help. Mutt 22 is a non profit organization that trains and places service dogs for Veterans with severe PTSD. These dogs are life changing for these Veterans. They are trained specifically for a certain Veteran and recognize when they are having an episode and know how to pull them out of it. The cost for one of these service dogs is significant, and is often something that the Veteran can't afford.
Through much research and planning we have reserved a high quality WPG pup from Aux Lake Kennels. The pup is two weeks old now. Rather than asking the breeder to donate a pup (breeders already do so much), we figured it would be a great opportunity for our "Hunting Wirehaired Pointing Griffon's" facebook group to have an opportunity to chip in to make this happen. So here's how this project is going to work.
1- We need to raise $2,500 to cover the cost of the pup, transportation to get it, and it's veterinary care. So that many people will get the opportunity to donate, we are asking that you donate no more than $75. If we don't have enough raised by the time the pup is eight weeks then we will open it up to higher donations.
2- Mark Strong, his wife, and five kids are going to be raising the pup for its first 8 - 10 months until it is ready to enter the Mutt 22 program. It will be raised in their home as a part of their family. He is very experienced with training labs (they currently have a nine year old yellow lab), and will be doing all the obedience and hunt training up to that point. He's never trained a Griffon so I'm sure he will be reaching out for some tips. Mark is a recent member of the group.
3- Once it enters the Mutt 22 program a Veteran will be identified for the dog and they will start training it to the specific needs of that Veteran. They are very picky about who gets these dogs and there definitely has to be a good chemistry between the two.
4- In this instance the dog will be going to a Veteran who also hunts, so this dog will be placed in a hunting home. We are even planning on doing that NAVHDA NA test.
5- Regular updates will be given to the group on the progress of the pup along its journey towards becoming a service dog. We want everyone to be involved all along the way!
Thank you to everyone for making this happen. This will be a great opportunity to give back to an individual who has devoted their life to protecting our's, while at the same time giving us the opportunity to help save their's!
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