The White Dog Cafeand WMMR’s Preston and Steve will host the second annual Dining Out for the Dogs on Monday August 20, 2018 starting at 5pm to raise funds for Alpha Bravo Canine, which provides trained service dogs to U.S military veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), and other combat-related disabilities.
WMMR on-air personalities will be at each of the three White Dog Cafe locations (Wayne Haverford and University City) dining with guests and hosting drawings for prizes including the opportunity for a commissioned pet portrait valued at $2200, by artist Jay McClellan, whose artwork adorns the walls of the White Dog Cafe locations. His paintings of dogs include bold colors with graphic patterns and unique designs.
There will also be puppy-kissing booths at each location where guests can make a donation and cuddle and kiss one of the Alpha Bravo Canine puppies! Guests can also donate $20 and book a VIP table (very important puppy) where they are guaranteed outdoor seating for the event with their pup (based on availability).
Marty Grims, owner of White Dog Cafe is committed to making sure each location raises enough money to purchase a puppy for training. The average cost for a puppy to train is $2000. Alpha Bravo Canine does not charge veterans for the training or the dog. “We are looking forward to again working with WMMR and all the on-air personalities who are giving of their time for this fundraiser. We hope the community will come out and dine for this wonderful cause and we are committed to having each location support the purchase of a dog.” The 2017 Dining Out for the Dogs event raised $25,000.
Guests who cannot attend the event, but that wish to contribute to Dining Out for the Dogs, can make a donation now through August 20 at the White Dog Cafe locations by adding any amount at the bottom of their meal check. Donations can also be dropped of at the White Dog Cafe locations and will be counted in with monies raised the night of the event to go towards the purchase of a puppy. Donors who contribute $500 or more will have the opportunity to name one of the three puppies to be funded by Dining Out for the Dogs or to name a future Alpha Bravo Canine puppy.
Government studies estimate that 22 U.S. military veterans commit suicide every day. Alpha Bravo Canine was founded by Jennifer Green and her son Kevin who was diagnosed with PTSD/TBI after his deployments to Afghanistan. Despite the diagnosis, he was deployed again less than a year later which amplified his symptoms. Jennifer and Kevin have made it their mission to help make a difference for veterans suffering from these mental-health related issues.
Jennifer uses her experience and knowledge as a Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA) and American Kennel Club-Canine Good Citizen Evaluator (AKC CGC) to raise and train dogs for veterans. Providing these veterans a fully trained service dog from puppy to graduated dog can cost from $30,000 to $50,000 depending on the disability.
Green said in addition to puppies for training, also at the top of her wish list now is a large open space for training and office space. “We are looking for a local spot to call home,” she said adding, “The training space is crucial for our veterans to come and volunteer with us while they are waiting for a dog in order to keep them engaged. We also need an office for daily operations and as a place for volunteers to come and assist. We need our facility to be handicap accessible so there are no restraints for our veterans. This will also serve as a place for our veterans to come to together and rekindle their brotherhood as civilians.”
Green currently trains any place she can including the homes of volunteers and public places. She relies heavily on volunteers who are a vital part of the training process. Volunteers foster the puppies and they come to weekly classes and are given homework to complete for the following week. Foster parents are also required to take their puppies on field trips during the week. “There is no financial commitment to be a puppy foster, we fundraise to cover those costs, we just want our puppy raisers to focus on the training aspect,” Green said.