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New program pairs veterans with shelter dogs in Chicago

The man and dog who inspired VALOR
The man and dog who inspired VALOR
Safe Humane Chicago

This fall, a pilot program is being launched in Chicago, Ill., to help benefit veterans and shelter dogs alike. The details of the program were issued via a press release from the non-profit organization, Safe Humane Chicago (SHC).

The new program, Veterans Advancing Lives of Rescues (VALOR), is a joint effort between SHC, which strives to promote positive relationships between people and animals. and the Veterans Project at Threshold, a provider of mental health and recovery service in Illinois.

The eight-week training program, which will be held four times a year, will take place at Chicago Animal Care and Control (CACC) - veterans will be paired with dogs who are in the legal system because they were seized as a result of cruelty or neglect. Sessions will consist of one-on-one time between the rescue dogs and their veteran; the goal is to develop good manners and socialization in the dogs who have endured a less-than-desirable life.

Veterans in the VALOR program will receive individualized instruction and support while spending time connecting with their canine counterparts - peer camaraderie, a sense of empowerment and the development of a skill set from working with the resilient canines are all benefits for the veterans who are able to participate in the new program.

Cynthia Bathurst, SHC Executive Director, stated:

“We’ve seen the bond that grows between dogs and youth offenders whom the rest of society
has discarded. A compassionate relationship between humans and pets makes a huge difference
for both,”

“Chicago Animal Care and Control and the law enforcement community, where many veterans including CACC Executive Director Sandra Alfred are employed, are wholeheartedly behind this new program, and we’re all excited to see it kick off and grow to serve more of our military veterans and homeless animals.”

VALOR veterans who are willing and able to adopt a dog at the program’s conclusion will receive
help with the adoption and long-term financial and behavioral support for the animals. Also,
veterans will have the opportunity to continue volunteering with SHC and CACC.

Read more about Safe Humane Chicago here.

Read more about the man and dog who helped to inspire VALOR at this link.

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