The Bob & Dolores Hope Foundation has awarded $300,000 to Smithtown-based America’s VetDogs to help the nonprofit provide service dogs to military veterans and first responders with disabilities.
America’s VetDogs will use the funding towards the future renovation of its on-campus service dog training center. Individual donors have already contributed $400,000 towards the project, for which America’s VetDogs is currently conducting a funding drive.
It costs more than $50,000 to breed, raise, train and place one assistance dog that VetDogs provides at no charge to disabled military vets and first responders, according to a VetDogs statement.
“America’s VetDogs is extremely grateful to the Bob & Dolores Hope Foundation for their generous grant to further our mission to provide even more service dogs to our nation’s heroes,” America’s VetDogs president and CEO John Miller, said in the statement. “Generous donors such as the Bob & Delores Hope Foundation enable us to change the lives of veterans with disabilities.”
Linda Hope, the daughter of Bob and Dolores Hope who serves as CEO and chair of their foundation, said her parents were “ardent dog lovers” and the donation honors their faith in the healing power of the human/animal bond.
“Our board is thrilled to support America’s VetDogs and their mission to help those who have served our country honorably live with dignity and independence, through their work of training and placing highly trained guide and service dogs with our nation’s heroes,” Hope said in the statement.