July 20, 2021

“3 Puppies Latest to Begin Training,” The Free Lance-Star, July 20, 2021

Three puppies latest to begin training to serve post-9/11 veterans via Caroline nonprofit

Caroline nonprofit is seeking foster families

By James Baron, Staff Writer, The Free Lance-Star

Three yellow Labrador retriever puppies arrived at a Caroline County farm this week to begin a lengthy journey of coaching and training to become service dogs for post-9/11 military veterans.

“We will coach the dogs through every scenario, so when the veteran actually gets that dog, none of that is new to the animal,” said Danique Masingill, president and co-founder of Leashes of Valor in Milford, located about 22 miles south of Fredericksburg. “The fosters have already done all that troubleshooting for us.”

The new puppies join nearly two dozen other potential service dogs that are already in an 18- to 24-month training pipeline with foster families living a variety of home settings they will most likely encounter in everyday life.

“We have dogs, cats, chickens, so the dogs get used to a country lifestyle,” said Karen Ivey of Montpelier, who has fostered over 20 dogs for Leashes of Valor over the last three years. “Then they’ll go to a home that has Girl Scouts and T-Ball.”

Read more in The Free Lance-Star.