The training of a veteran’s new service dog has been paid for thanks to the efforts of a local Veterans Club.
The Fredonia Veterans Club at the State University of New York (SUNY) in Fredonia, began raising money to support local veterans after a visit from WNYHeroes, an organization that funds services to help military veterans. During the visit, students were introduced to WNYHeroes member Chris Kreiger, and his service dog, Bubba, which inspired them to raise money to help train a service dog for a veteran in their own community.
“When the dog has his vest on, he becomes a service animal; it’s like the dog saying ‘I’m working,’ and you’re not to touch him,” said SUNY Fredonia Associate Provost Judith Horowitz to ABC 7 Buffalo.
“But when the vest comes off, Bubba was like any other dog and loved to have his stomach rubbed. The students in the Veterans Club were really struck by that, and they knew that (raising money to support service dog training) was what they wanted to do.”
Since then, the Veterans Club was able to raise $4,500 to pay for service dog training for US Marine Corps Veteran, Matt Wronski, and his dog, Judge. Using the money raised, the pair was able to complete three stages of service dog training with the help of WNYHeroes.
Now Wronski, who served five tours in Iraq during his 14 years in the Marine Corps Reserves, says that Judge makes leaving the house easier for him by keeping him feeling comfortable and safe.
“He helps get me out of the house, gets me back to normal, so I have no problem with that kind of stuff,” Wronski said in a statement.