For Immediate Release
September 1, 2011
RETIRED GREYHOUND FIRST SERVICE DOG FOR
“SERVICE DOGS 4 SERVICE MEN” PROGRAM
West Palm Beach, Florida – HERO, a retired racing Greyhound, has become the first Service Dog to be trained as a companion to a retired service person in need of an assistance dog. Racing as Fleeter Neal, HERO retired recently to Greyhound Pets of America FL SE Coast Chapter. He raced at Palm Beach Kennel Club from the Douglas Kennel.
Shortly after retiring, HERO was selected from among the GPA kennel Greyhounds by Daniel De La Rosa and Sara Donadei- Blood as the first retired racer to be considered for this intensive training program. GPA and the Palm Beach Kennel
Club joined in donating the dog to them for this program.
Daniel De La Rosa is the only Karen Pryor Academy Certified trainer in South Florida. He is a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers and Canine Good Citizen Evaluator and owner of Petropolis Park, a doggy day care and boarding facility in Hollywood, FL. He and HERO recently returned from a New York City working vacation, visiting many of the landmarks and attending a Broadway Show. (See HERO’s photo album on Facebook). De La Rosa is Vice President of the organization, and HERO’s trainer.
De La Rosa says: “HERO’s best asset is how adaptable he is in every situation. He has been on trains, boats, and planes and even Time Square. HERO is not only calm, HERO is calming. This program is a rewarding way for me / us to thank our troops who put themselves in harms way to keep our country safe.”
Sara Donadei-Blood is Founder and President of Service Dogs 4 Service Men. Her intention in starting this program is to “Give back to those who have given so much for us. Also, as we are primarily using the retired racing dogs, we are impacting two lives at once. We are pairing a Serviceman and Man’s Best Friend – both of whom need each other to remain successful in this world.”
Barbara Masi, President of the local GPA chapter, is thrilled that Sara and Daniel have selected a Greyhound to train for this program. “A Greyhound has lived a highly structured life and is still willing to work hard after retiring from the track.” said Masi. “These dogs are so gentle and bond so quickly
with their new owners, certainly the ideal breed for this
Palm Beach Kennel Club’s Publicity Director, Theresa Hume, states “We are very proud to be involved with the program Service Dogs 4 Service Men. We are amazed and excited at the progress and accomplishments made by HERO and trainer Daniel De La Rosa. This is a wonderful fit with retired racers and retired service men and women.”
Service Dogs 4 Servicemen, Inc., is a Non-Profit organization whose mission is to place fully-trained Service Dogs with US Military Veterans in need. These will be placed at no cost to the Veteran. Donations are requested – and you may
donate on the web site (servicedogs4servicemen.com) or mail to ServiceDogs4ServiceMen at 7910 Kimberly Blvd., N. Lauderdale, FL 33068.
We are targeting a Friday, November 11, Veterans Day presentation of HERO to his new owner. Plans are to do this at the Palm Beach Kennel Club at their celebration of the dedication of America’s servicemen and women. Shortly after that, Daniel and Sara will be visiting the GPA kennels to select another Greyhound for the program.
Contact: Barbara Masi 561-737-1941 / BarbaraMasi@comcast.net
or Theresa Hume 561-683-2222, Ext. 120 / Thume@pbkennelclub.com