ATLANTA — Atlanta United has a new member to their team — a 12-week-old black lab puppy named King.
King will be the second puppy that the team will train to become a service dog. King comes to them in partnership with “America’s VetDogs, a New York-based nonprofit organization that provides service dogs to U.S. veterans, active-duty service members and first responders with disabilities,” a news release from the team said.
“We are excited to continue our partnership with America’s VetDogs and reach our goal of improving the life of a veteran through this excellent program,” Atlanta United President Darren Eales said. “Supporting our military is a foundational part of the club and the Blank Family of Businesses and successfully placing King with a veteran or first responder would be a privilege. We look forward to introducing King to our fans, giving them the opportunity to engage with him and educating the public about service dogs and the ways we can all support the veteran community.”
King is the team’s second service dog the team has helped raise. Last year, Atlanta United helped raise Spike, who has since gone back to America’s VetDogs in New York for advanced service dog training.
“Atlanta United’s passion for supporting our nation’s heroes aligns with our mission to provide trained service dogs for veterans and first responders with disabilities. This opportunity offers a unique environment for the pup to grow and thrive in. A well-socialized puppy will have fewer adjustments to make when he returns back to VetDogs for advanced service dog training. When it’s time, that confidence will help someone with disabilities conquer any challenges they may face together as a team,” said John Miller, president and CEO of America’s VetDogs.
“King will be trained by an Atlanta-based puppy raiser over the next year. Following his puppy raising stage, King will return to the America’s VetDogs campus in Smithtown, New York, to begin his advanced service dog training with a certified service dog instructor. When his training is complete, King will be matched and placed with a veteran or first responder with disabilities at no charge to the individual,” a news release said.
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