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10 veterans, canine graduate Clear Path for Veterans program

CHITTENANGO — Clear Path for Veterans celebrated its 2022 Veteran and Service canine graduating class, consisting of 10 veterans and their canine final Saturday.

This yr’s graduation marks the primary graduating class of Clear Path’s new Pet Growth Program, which focuses on elevating and coaching purpose-bred service canine from partnering breeders everywhere in the nation.

“There aren’t any phrases to precise my gratitude for having skilled this journey with every veteran and repair canine who’re a part of this yr’s graduation ceremony,” mentioned Nationwide Director of Canine Programming Ryan Woodruff.

“These partnerships are really transformational, and it has been my pleasure to have witnessed their onerous work finishing this program,” the director of canine programming added. 

Cazenovia Mayor Kurt Wheeler served because the graduation speaker for the ceremony, which included a leash transition ceremony from the canine guardian to the veteran and a dinner for all of the graduates ready in-house by Clear Path’s Chef Mike Sheets.

“The Canine Program graduation is actually a pivotal second for all the people attending,” mentioned Clear Path for Veterans’ Canine Program Shopper Providers Coordinator Skylar McClure.

“We’re so extremely appreciative of on a regular basis and energy from all the Canine Program volunteers, Clear Path supporters, and group members who’ve impacted the graduating veteran shoppers and their service canine,” McClure mentioned.

“I’m really delighted we will come collectively and witness this celebratory milestone,” the shopper companies coordinator added. 

The Canine Program at Clear Path for Veterans was established in 2011. A decade later, this system continues to put service canine with veterans identified with post-traumatic stress (PTS) and traumatic mind harm (TBI), permitting veterans to attach with their canine companions on a mutually helpful degree.

This evidence-based coaching has confirmed profitable in mitigating signs associated to PTS and rising self-compassion, in line with Clear Path for Veterans officers.

Woodruff, a Marine Corps veteran, has skilled these advantages firsthand as a former participant within the canine program and now as its nationwide director.

“Humanity has been connecting with canines for hundreds of years in working and non-working capacities, together with companionship,” Woodruff mentioned.

“Now we have harnessed the facility of the human-animal bond and use it to offer veterans with a chance to thrive and develop past wrestle,” the canine programming director added.

Clear Path for Veterans Canine Program is a Candidate Program for Help Canine Worldwide (ADI), a governing physique of suppliers making certain finest practices and excessive requirements within the trade.

Clear Path anticipates accreditation this yr as soon as the applying course of is full.

As this system continues to develop, preparations are underway to finally welcome veterans from the nationwide panorama and past the borders of New York.

Clear Path for Veterans acknowledged that these growth efforts replicate the group’s mission to encourage communities on the nationwide degree to put money into the well-being of navy members, veterans, and their households.

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