Kirby competes in Puppy Bowl. (Photo: America's VetDogs)

Future service dog from Long Island in Puppy Bowl

Kirby, a service dog in training from Smithtown-based America’s VetDogs, is competing in Sunday’s Puppy Bowl XVIII on Animal Planet.

A Labrador retriever, Kirby will be one of more than 100 adoptable puppies running around and scoring touchdowns for a chance to win the coveted Lombarky Trophy.

The annual event will be presented on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 13 at 2 p.m.

Co-raised by the Houston Texans NFL team since he was 10 weeks old, Kirby is currently training to be a service dog in a partnership with America’s Vet Dogs. Once his training is complete, Kirby will be placed with a veteran or a first responder with disabilities.

America’s VetDogs trains and places guide and service dogs to provide independence, enhanced mobility, and companionship to veterans with disabilities and first responders, including fire, police, and emergency medical personnel. 

It costs over $50,000 to breed, raise, train, and place one assistance dog, but America’s VetDogs provides its services completely free of charge, thanks to contributions from generous individuals, corporations, service clubs, and foundations to fund its mission to help those who have served our country live with dignity and independence.

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