Service Dogs of Virginia Hosts Graduation Ceremony for 11 Dogs

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at Service Dogs of Virginia at Service Dogs of Virginia

Some four-legged friends have passed the test and will go on to join the working world as service dogs in central Virginia. The Service Dogs of Virginia Program held a graduation ceremony for them.

It is a grueling two-year process. But year after year, Service Dogs of Virginia continues to graduate dogs that go on to become vital members of society.

“I think it’s really special for the puppy raisers and the volunteers because they only see a component of what happens and they don't always meet the client they don't always get the full picture,” Peggy Law, executive director, said.

There were plenty of pictures Sunday afternoon when 11 dogs graduated to officially become working pups.

“It’s such a sense of accomplishment knowing that these dogs are now with their people with our clients and really making a difference,” trainer Linda Morris said.

Service Dogs of Virginia has three program tracks for their dogs: physical assistance, autism support, and diabetic alert.

“They go through a two-year training process and then they are matched to an individual client and we make those matches based on what the client needs, what the dog's abilities and personality is, and the skill-set that we've given them,” Law said.

Now, these furry friends have passed their finals and will go on to join the working world.

“The dog is an extension of the person that they work for and together they are absolutely members of the community and members of their extended communities where they live,” Law said.

Service Dogs of Virginia does not charge clients for service animals. The nonprofit relies on grants and donations from the community.

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