Metro dog trainers met their new recruits for the first time Thursday night.
The group Paws and Effect trains service dogs for Iowa combat veterans, but are working to expand their mission. Some of their latest litter will be raised to help kids with autism.
A $5,000 donation from Hy-Vee was used to help pay for the puppies and some of their care. At the meet and greet Thursday each new recruit was matched with a trainer who will raise them for the next 18-months.
Trainer Nicole Shumate explains, “Five of these dogs will become autism assistance dogs, and then the rest of the litter will proceed on to be placed with combat veterans. At this point we don’t know which dogs will go which directions. It’s a decision we make as we see the dogs grow up.”
The first Paws and Effect autism dogs will be ready for their kids in the summer of 2014.