The Amazin’ Mets Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the New York Mets, and nonprofit America’s VetDogs announced a joint effort to name and co-raise a future service dog.
The AMF puppy is an 11-week-old, male, yellow Labrador retriever, who will undergo basic training and socialization with the AMF staff, New York Mets players and fans for the next 16 to 18 months. As part of the program, the pup will live in the Mets front office, and attend community events and select games at Citi Field for exposure that will help mold him into a confident and calm future service dog.
“We are very excited to be sponsoring our first future service dog with America’s VetDogs,” said Alex Cohen, president of AMF and the wife of Mets majority owner Steve Cohen. “We hope that this AMF puppy will bring awareness to an organization that provides renewed independence to veterans and first responders, as well as create fun and interactive opportunities for our fans.”
Fans can stay up to date on the puppy’s training and local appearance on Instagram @MetsVetDog. Fans will also have a chance to help name him by casting their vote on his name via the Mets’ Twitter, Facebook and Instagram pages. Voting will run from March 21-22, with the winning name set to be announced on March 23.
Since its inception, the Amazin’ Mets Foundation has been committed to providing needed services and opportunities to children, families and underserved groups in New York City.
“America’s VetDogs is thrilled to partner with the Amazin’ Mets Foundation on co-raising the team and league’s first future service dog,” said John Miller, president & CEO of America’s VetDogs. “The Amazin’ Mets Foundation’s passion for supporting our nation’s heroes aligns with our mission to provide trained service dogs for veterans and first responders with disabilities. A well-socialized puppy will have fewer adjustments to make when he returns to VetDogs for advanced service dog training. When it’s time, that confidence will help someone with disabilities conquer any challenges they may face together as a team.”
America’s VetDogs is a New York-based national nonprofit that provides specially trained service dogs to veterans and first responders with disabilities. Since 2003, the organization has trained and placed guide and service dogs to provide independence, enhanced mobility and companionship to veterans with disabilities from all eras. In 2015, VetDogs opened its programs to first responders, including fire, police and emergency medical personnel.
It typically costs over $50,000 to breed, raise, train and place an assistance dog, however, all of the VetDogs’ services are provided at no charge to the individual. Funding comes from individuals, corporations and service and fraternal clubs.