Association of the United States Army
Arsenal of Democracy Chapter
2nd Annual Bar E Que
22 September 2016
The second annual Yappy Hour and Bark-E-Que fundraiser, hosted by AOD Corporate member, Advanced-Cable, LLC (www.advanced-cable.com); Arsenal of Democracy Member, Karen Straffon; and many AUSA volunteers was held at Barrister Gardens, St Clair Shores, on 5 August. Four veterans with their service dogs attended and one demonstrated some of his service dog’s tasks. Approximately 150 attended and over $14,000 was raised. The donation will totally fund the training and pairing of one Dog with a Michigan veteran in need plus a start on a second.
Proceeds went to Stiggy’s Dogs, a 501c (3) PTSD/TBI Service Dog Trainer in Howell, MI: www.stiggysdogs.org. Besides being local, Stiggy’s Dogs training philosophy is unique among trainers. Six (+/-) month old rescue dog candidates are sent to a regional confinement facility where instructor inmates teach a few basic dog obedience tasks over a several week period. If the dog is judged to be trainable, the dog is put through more obedience training and paired as a “Service Dog in Training” with a veteran. The veteran then owns the dog and takes responsibility for a large part of the training. The veteran and his dog returns to the facility weekly to demonstrate new tasks the dog learns until the dog is fully trained. Following graduation, the veteran returns with his “Service Dog” periodically for Stiggy’s Dogs to verify it is in good health, it hasn’t forgotten obedience training or it’s more specific service dog tasks.
Their philosophy of including inmates as basic instructors and pairing the rescue dog with a veteran before graduation makes your hard earned money go further. They even obtain Leader Dogs for the Blind trained animals that were unable to perform certain tasks specifically for a blind person.
Hope to see you at next year’s event to help Stiggy’s Dogs offer a new hope for a Michigan veteran in need and a second chance for every dog.