By Jazzminn Morecraft
A male, yellow lab, named Doc will soon be joining CI’s campus as Veterans Affairs new service/therapy dog. This is all thanks to an organization known as the Dr. Richard Grossman Community Foundation.
The Foundation gave Veterans Affairs a grant that would allow them to do two things. Jay Derrico, Assistant Director of Veterans Affairs Programs, explained that they would be able to provide service dog training for 5 student’s personal dogs. Veterans Affairs will also be able to have their very own service/therapy dog.
All this training is done through New Life K9s, a training service located in Santa Barbra County.
“The Grossman Foundation, they gave us (the Veterans Affairs Program) money, so that we can in turn gave, as we need it, the money over to New Life to train the dogs,” explained Derrico. He continued to explain that training typically takes 1 to 2 years for each dog and that New Life K9s start to train them when they are puppies.
According to Derrico, Doc has completed his training. However, Veterans Affairs are waiting on two things. First, Derrico must be trained as he will be Doc’s day handler. Secondly, Veterans Affairs, along with New Life K9s, are currently looking for a primary handler for evenings and weekends to take care of Doc. After finding a faculty or staff member that will be compatible with Doc, said person will also need to go through training.
When everything is being finalized, Doc will sure be welcomed with open arms.