December 20, 2017

Franklin County Commissioners Hold 3rd Save-A-Vet, Save-A-Pet Transfer Ceremony

December 14, 2017 – CHAMBERSBURG, PA – The Franklin County Commissioners executed their 3rd transfer agreement of Service Dog Ownership to a local veteran. The transfer ceremony officially took place during the regularly scheduled Commissioner’s meeting on Thursday, December 14th.

Johnny Gouge, a Franklin County Veteran, received Skylar – his certified service dog – during the Commissioner’s meeting through an official presentation. This event marks the 3rd certified service dog that has been transferred to local Veterans through this life changing program.

 

The Franklin County Veteran Affairs Office provides the “Operation Save-A-Vet, Save-A-Pet” outreach program, which matches service-connected disabled Veterans with trained service dogs. The primary outcome is to assist the Veteran experience enhanced independence while enjoying life through a “battle buddy” connection.

 

The Service dog completed a rigorous 3-phase training program in which the Veteran joins their dog and the certified trainer for the final phase of skill transference and bonding. The trainer will also evaluate the Vet-Dog team in order to complete the certification process. Once all training phases and certification testing has been successfully completed, official service dog ownership is transferred to the Veteran.

 

Each service dog has a career expectancy of between six and ten years before being retired from official duties. After the service dog’s retirement, the Veteran will have the option of keeping their service dog as a pet, while also applying for the opportunity to work with a new certified service dog.

 

Picture (from left to right): Commissioner Robert G. Ziobrowski, Chairman David S.  Keller, Veteran Johnny Gouge and his wife Jessica with Skylar, Veteran Affairs Director Justin Slep, Trainer Helen Carlson, Foster Parent Tom Kennedy, and Community Outreach and Events Coordinator John McPaul.

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