Clear Path for Veterans New England along with the Rotary Clubs of Nashoba Valley and the Rotary Club of Ayer, Devens, Harvard & Shirley are excited to bring the Dogs2Vets mission to New England - matching service dogs with local veterans. The program, perfected at Clear Path for Veterans' center in New York state, involves the veteran in the canine-training process, working together with the trainer to achieve individual goals.
The goal of the 2019 Devens Dog Festival is to raise enough funds to provide at least 10 service dogs to local veterans. Festival sponsorships include the opportunity to either sponsor or co-sponsor a service dog.
Dogs2Vets provides an opportunity for veterans and their families to participate in their service training, whether the activity is to provide skills to the family pet to alleviate stress, or to work towards a fully ADA-certified support dog. "Socializing with dogs can provide enormous support to veterans as they reconnect in their communities," says Donna Bulger, executive director of Clear Path for Veterans NE.
One of our successful vet-and-dog pairings, showing off their training in New York state!
Another happy pair, after winning all of our hearts along with first prize for obedience!
All Dogs2Vets participants commit to a six-week introductory training course that concentrates on the responsibilities associated with owning a dog. "The length and nature of the training process varies, and can take up to 12 months or more to complete," says Mary Garcia, president of the Rotary Club of Nashoba Valley.
The Dogs2Vets format allows the veteran and their family to make the choices that best suit their personal path towards reconnecting, restoring and transitioning. "Dogs2Vets offers a path focused on social engagement, positive outlook, trust and hope, all of which is reinforced through the canine partnership," says Dolores Alberghini, president of the Rotary Club of Ayer, Devens, Harvard & Shirley.
For more information on the 2019 Dogs2Vets Festival, contact:
- Donna Bulger, executive director of Clear Path for Veterans NE, at 508-308-0724 or email@example.com
- Mary Garcia, president of the Nashoba Valley club, at 978-337-3571 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Dolores Alberghini, president of the Ayer, Devens, Harvard and Shirley club, at 978-448-6881 or email@example.com.
Clear Path for Veterans New England is a 501(c)3 charitable non-profit organization, established in 2017 with one mission: to build a safe, supportive and respectful place for veterans to seek the help and resources they need in order to successfully integrate into their communities. The family is an integral part of this, and the first line of defense in upholding wellness. Clear Path's vision is to create a community that understands and supports the journey home for our veterans and their families, and inspires other communities to do the same.
The mission of both the Rotary Club of Nashoba Valley and the Rotary Club of Ayer, Devens, Harvard & Shirley is "service above self." The clubs belong to District 7910 of Zone 32 of Rotary International, whose 1.2 million members in more than 34,000 clubs globally come together to create positive, lasting change in our communities and around the world. Both clubs are 501(c)3 charitable, non-profit organizations.
The Nashoba Valley club, which serves the communities of Bolton, Lancaster and Stow, meets the first, third, and fifth Thursdays at 7:15 a.m. at Emma's Cafe, 117 Great Rd. in Stow, and the second and fourth Thursdays at 5:45 p.m. at Nancy's Air Field Cafe, located at 302 Boxboro Rd. in Stow. For more information, contact club President Mary Garcia at 978-337-3571 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Ayer, Devens, Harvard & Shirley club meets Thursdays at 6:00 p.m. at the Bull Run Restaurant, 215 Great Rd. (Route 2A) in Shirley. For more information, contact club President Dolores Alberghini at 978-448-6881 or email@example.com.