Monumental Sports & Entertainment announced today the company will welcome a service dog in training through America's VetDogs, a New York-based nonprofit that trains and provides service dogs to veterans and first responders with disabilities. MSE staff will raise and help train the dog to become a service dog. "Scout" will join the MSE family on January 30th.
"America's VetDogs is thrilled to join forces with Monumental Sports & Entertainment with this program to raise a future service dog for a veteran or first responder with disabilities," said John Miller, president & CEO, America's VetDogs. "We are thankful to the entire MSE organization for supporting the VetDogs mission but also for joining our dedicated group of volunteer puppy raisers to provide Scout with a unique and enriching environment that will ultimately mold him into a confident and well-socialized service dog."
The Washington Capitals, which is owned and operated by MSE, welcomed future service dog Captain in October 2019. Since his debut, Captain has quickly garnered the love and admiration of both players and fans. The overwhelming online engagement and media coverage of Captain has inspired more than 80 new service dog applications to America's VetDogs.
MSE Chairman & CEO Ted Leonsis, and his wife Lynn, were also inspired by Captain's journey to D.C. As a result, the two committed to donating $50,000 to sponsor the cost of raising a second dog through America's VetDogs.
"The tremendous joy we get from welcoming Scout to our Monumental family for his training will only be surpassed by the love we will send with him as he becomes a qualified companion to a veteran or first responder with disabilities," said Monica Dixon, president, external affairs and chief administrative officer at MSE. "We are grateful to America's VetDogs for this incredibly meaningful program and are pleased to support their important work."
MSE staff will raise Scout, an 8-week-old male yellow Labrador Retriever, for the next 14 to 16 months during which time the dog will undergo basic training and socialization. Scout will also participate in MSE community events and attend select home games and other events at his new home at Capital One Arena. Scout will then return to New York where he will begin his advanced training with a certified service dog instructor through America's VetDogs and will eventually be matched with a veteran or first responder.
MSE invites you to follow Scout's journey on social media. You can check for photos and updates by following us @Monumental_Sports on Instagram; and also @MSE and @AmericasVetDogs on Twitter and Facebook.
About Future Service Dog Scout:
Scout was born on November 28, 2019 and will make his debut during the Capitals vs. Nashville Predators game on January 29, 2020 at Capital One Arena. Monica Dixon, MSE's president of external affairs, will present a check to President & CEO John Miller of America's VetDogs. The Washington Capitals service dog in training, Captain, and Marine veteran Al Moore with his service dog Kevin will take part in the photo-op.
About Monumental Sports & Entertainment:
Monumental Sports & Entertainment is America's leading sports and entertainment family. Our people, players, teams and events bring excitement and joy to millions. We invest and innovate to consistently raise the game so we can deliver extraordinary experiences that will inspire and unite our community, our fans and our people. To learn more, please visit www.monumentalsports.com.
About America's VetDogs:
Since 2003, America's VetDogs (www.VetDogs.org) 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. America's VetDogs is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization founded by the Guide Dog Foundation and serves clients from across the United States. VetDogs relies on 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. 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 to the individual. America's VetDogs has been accredited by both the International Guide Dog Federation and Assistance Dogs International.