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Help bring a service dog to a local veteran

August 2017 | Related Categories: Community Life | News | Resident News & Events

The Eastmark Cares campaign is in full swing! Now through November, Eastmark residents are invited to participate in a series of fundraising opportunities, service projects, and awareness events to support local military service members and veterans.

And the need is great. Many service members who return from combat zones experience post-traumatic stress disorder, more commonly known as PTSD, and trained service dogs can be a huge source of support to these veterans.

Service dogs can be trained to turn on the lights to help stop a veteran’s nightmare, patrol the perimeter of a room to give a greater sense of security before their owner enters, remind them to take medication by alerting them at the correct times, and even prevent a veteran from being startled by gently nudging him or her when someone is unexpectedly approaching.

But trained service dogs come with a high price tag of $25,000 to $40,000, which puts them out of reach for more than 70 percent of disabled veterans.

That’s where Service Dog Fund comes into play. Founded by Eastmark residents Louis and Saramarie Robinson, Service Dog Fund is committed to bringing affordable working dogs to those in need.

Louis Robinson started his dog training career in the U.S. Air Force as a military K-9 handler, and he, along with his wife Saramarie, turned that experience in to one of the country’s top dog training programs.

“Pairing vets or those with disabilities to a service dog is such a life changing event that we are driven to make it happen as much as possible,” say the Robinsons.

Through the Service Dog Fund, Louis and Saramarie have worked to lower the cost of service dogs by teaching an owner how to train a dog in his or her own home, as well as using a dog the person already owns or finding a suitable rescue dog that is trainable.

Their mission: to revolutionize the service dog industry by providing high quality service dogs and in-home training to recipients, at no cost to them.

You can help. Eastmark residents can purchase a personalized Legacy Paver that will help support the mission of the Service Fund Dog, and also let residents leave a lasting mark in the community. Paver proceeds will go directly to the professional training of a service dog for a qualified veteran through the Service Dog Fund.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Legacy Paver sales will run now through Sept. 30.
  • There’s room for three, 15-character lines of inscription on each paver.
  • They’re $80 each and can be purchased online.
  • The pavers will be installed beneath the flagpole in Honors Park at Anitole Square by Veterans Day, Nov. 11.

Eventbrite - 2017 Honors Park at Anitole Square Legacy Paver

Meet Lucy the service dog!

Drop by the Bus Stop at The ‘Mark on Saturday, Sept. 9 from 3 to 4 p.m. to watch Louis Robinson and Service Dog Lucy in action. Lucy will show off her skills and melt your heart at the same time.

Questions? Suggestions? Want to get involved? Email the Community Life Team.

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