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Program Pairing Service Dogs With Wounded Vets Abruptly Booted From Offices At Military Facilities


Program Pairing Service Dogs With Wounded Vets Abruptly Booted From Offices At Military Facilities

The Warrior Canine Connection, a program that prepares service dogs for permanent placement with wounded veterans and their families, has been abruptly kicked out of their offices in two Washington, D.C.-area military facilities without explanation, the program’s executive director says.

The program’s executive director, Rick Yount, said his trainers and puppy raisers at Fort Belvoir and at two locations on the campus of the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, were told on Oct. 27 to vacate their offices that afternoon, WTOP reported.

“At two o’clock in the afternoon, I received a phone call saying there was a stop work order. There was no explanation whatsoever as to why that was the decision,” Yount told the D.C. radio station.

“Why would — all of the sudden — a program be halted that was serving patients?” Yount asked. “We’ve heard absolutely nothing.”

Yount said the program’s contract with Fort Belvoir was not supposed to expire until 2019.

“There’s no question that this program saves lives,” he said.

The Warrior Canine Connection issued the following Facebook statement on Wednesday:

We recently learned that our contract to provide services to the men and women of our military at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and Ft Belvoir has been halted. We have spent the past week trying to find out why the program was interrupted, but unfortunately, those answers have still not been provided.

It has been an honor to be a part of the amazing patient care teams at Walter Reed and Ft. Belvoir over the past six years, and we want to express our sincere gratitude for the opportunity to help our nation’s wounded, ill and injured. We will continue to seek information about this decision, and we will try to keep everyone updated as we learn more. WCC continues to assist Veterans and Service Members at the VA in Menlo Park, California, at our Healing Quarters in Boyds, Maryland, and through various outreach initiatives within our community. Our new location in Denver, Colorado is anticipated to open in early 2018, and we are working on arrangements to provide our services at other locations throughout the national capital region and elsewhere.

We remain passionately committed to our mission and wholeheartedly grateful for your support.


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