Students learn and bond with their new service dogs during two-week in-residence training program at America’s VetDogs’ Smithtown, New York Campus
TYSONS, Va., March 22, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — PenFed Credit Union, the nation’s second largest federal credit union, proudly sponsors over 30 military veterans and first responders with disabilities to attend a two-week in-residence training program where they are paired with their America’s VetDogs service dog. During the program, which takes place on VetDogs’ 10-acre campus in Smithtown, New York, students learn from highly empathetic and certified trainers who will teach them and their new dogs how to work together as a team.
“PenFed remains proud to work with America’s VetDogs and we are honored to sponsor this critical training that will enable the men and women who served our nation to bond with their new service dogs,” said James Schenck, President and CEO of PenFed Credit Union and CEO of the PenFed Foundation. “PenFed supports VetDogs and their work of providing enhanced mobility and renewed independence to veterans, active-duty service members, and first responders with disabilities, allowing them to live with pride and self-reliance.”
All of the services throughout the class are free of charge to the students thanks to PenFed’s sponsorship.
In one of the six scheduled class sessions sponsored by PenFed, the credit union’s Puppy With A Purpose Ace was placed in his forever home with Robert, a Vietnam War veteran. For the past 14 months, Ace was raised and trained by PenFed Vice President and Chief Content Officer Andrea McCarren. As part of his training, Ace traveled with the PenFed Digital team, visiting PenFed financial centers and accompanying the team on social media content production projects.
Ace is the fourth service dog raised by McCarren and you can click here to watch PenFed employees meeting Ace for the first time. During Ace’s time with the PenFed family, he was also featured in a number of educational videos teaching members about PenFed’s products and services. Ace is the seventh service dog raised by PenFed employees.
“I am thrilled to learn Ace has found his forever home serving a Vietnam War veteran,” said McCarren. “The PenFed team is proud of Ace and his VetDogs trainers and we look forward to seeing him enrich Robert’s life.”
America’s VetDogs and its sister organization, The Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind, specialize in placing highly-skilled service and guide dogs to individuals with physical injuries, PTSD, hearing and vision loss, and seizures. All services are provided at no cost. Sully, George H. W. Bush’s former service dog who is currently working as part of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center’s Facility Dog Program, was raised, trained and placed by America’s VetDogs. Ace joins other high-profile service dogs including the Washington Capitals’ Captain, Atlanta United’s Spike, WBAL’s Brooks and New York Islanders’ Tori and Radar.
About PenFed Credit Union
Established in 1935, Pentagon Federal Credit Union (PenFed) is America’s second-largest federal credit union, serving over 2.6 million members worldwide with $31 billion in assets. PenFed Credit Union offers market-leading certificates, checking, credit cards, personal loans, mortgages, auto loans, student loans, and a wide range of other financial services with members’ interests always in mind. PenFed Credit Union is federally insured by the NCUA and is an Equal Housing Lender. To learn more about PenFed Credit Union, visit PenFed.org, like us on Facebook and follow us @PenFed on Twitter. Interested in working for PenFed? Check us out on LinkedIn. We are proud to be an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer.
About America’s VetDogs
Since 2003, America’s VetDogs (www.VetDogs.org) has trained and placed guide and service dogs to provide independence, enhanced mobility, and companionship to veterans with disabilities from all eras. In 2015, VetDogs opened its programs to first responders, including fire, police, and emergency medical personnel. America’s VetDogs is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization founded by the Guide Dog Foundation and serves clients from across the United States. VetDogs relies on contributions from generous individuals, corporations, service clubs, and foundations to fund its mission to help those who have served our country live with dignity and independence. It costs over $50,000 to breed, raise, train, and place one assistance dog, but America’s VetDogs provides its services completely free of charge to the individual. America’s VetDogs has been accredited by both the International Guide Dog Federation and Assistance Dogs International.