Pasadena, MD - Over Memorial Day weekend 2017, USSSA fastpitch teams competed to raise money for our wounded warriors. A donation was made in each team’s name for every win they accumulated in the USSSA Wins for Warriors Tournament. This year’s beneficiary was Hero Dogs, located in Brookville, MD, a non-profit organization who pairs service dogs with local military veterans who have been injured or disabled.
“Hero Dogs really understands the human-canine relationship” says Barbara Ramundo, Deputy Director.
While visiting, USSSA staff was able to meet a few of the Hero Dogs in training. Bobby (pictured) was preparing for a “training session” running errands with Jan, one of the many volunteers who help make the program work. The training is a two and a half year process.
And even if a dog doesn’t make the cut to become a service dog, Hero Dogs has alternative programs that allow those who are “honorably discharged” to still serve. These programs include Hero Dog Ambassadors who assist with the training program and participate in outreach and educational programs. Some may enter the facility dogs program, where they are placed with a clinician or staff member at a specific treatment facility, while others may enter therapy dog training to help provide comfort to members of the public.
USSSA East proudly donated $3,000 on behalf of its teams to Hero Dogs and over the course of the last five seasons, USSSA East has been able to donate more than $58,000 to various charities to help not only our wounded warriors but also multiple autism and breast cancer charities. “We appreciate our teams and the way that they embrace our charity events to help make a difference through softball”, said Bill Dowell, USSSA State Director.
For more information about Hero Dogs, ways to donate or volunteer or to follow Bobby and the other dogs in training, you can follow them on various social media platforms which can be found at http://www.hero-dogs.org/