Woman's Club honors service dogs for veterans
Among the responses that group memebers came up with were mentoring, conservation, sustainability and supporting local farms, support for the arts. But somewhat surprisingly, the initiative that garnered the most interest was service dogs for disabled veterans.
Accordingly, last Thursday, The Woman’s Club of Coconut Grove held its first luncheon meeting of the fall and hosted guests from Dogs 4 Disabled Veterans. The mission of Dogs 4 Disabled Veterans (D4DV) is to help disabled veterans reintegrate into the community through the utilization of rehabilitated rescue dogs. D4DV is committed to changing the way people view dogs by demonstrating, through their work with veterans, the value, devotion, and innate capacity to help humans that dogs possess.
The speaker was Lorri Volkman (at right in the photo), founder of Dogs 4 Disabled Veterans. Lorri described how she started organization, which rescues dogs from shelters and arranges for them to be trained as service dogs. (That's US Navy, BM2 Moises Castro, Christina Holbrook president of the Woman's Club and Salsa, the service dog, along with Lorri in the photo).
The training takes place at a correctional facility in Martin County using a program that she created. The dogs are then paired with veterans, and veteran, dog, and trainer work together until the dog is fully ready to graduate and be adopted by his veteran handler.
Dogs 4 Disabled Veterans is a 501c3 and all work is handled by Volkman and a small, dedicated group of volunteers.
The Woman's Club of Coconut Grove is a private not-for-profit charitable organization founded on February 19, 1891, when Flora McFarlane, Miami-Dade County's first schoolteacher, gathered five other pioneer women to organize the Housekeeper's Club. The Club has provided service to the community for nearly 120 years.
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