Dogs Save Lives event raises money to train service dogs for veterans

Published: Mar. 3, 2023 at 3:52 PM CST
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - An event at The Brewing Projekt Friday night in Eau Claire aimed to raise money to sponsor and train service dogs for veterans. The event was organized by Dogtopia of Eau Claire.

The goal is to raise $60,000 for the Dogtopia Foundation to sponsor and train 10 service dogs for vets.

The guest speaker was one of the most decorated female veterans in U.S. history, Command Sergeant Major Gretchen Evans (retired). Evans knows firsthand the benefits service dogs bring to veterans.

In 2006, she was severely wounded while serving in Afghanistan. A rocket blast caused a traumatic brain injury, internal injuries and the loss of her hearing. Her service dog alerts her to every day sounds she can’t hear, including the doorbell, her phone and people calling her name - not to mention the emotional support.

“I know for my own self that Rusty was able to give me back my independence. He comforts me when I need it, helps me with my anxiety, my PTSD. He’s the most loyal companion I could ever have. He’s always happy to see me. So I find these dogs, all dogs, not just service dogs, pet dogs, really are good for us. They do change and save our lives. On your worst day of your life you come home to a happy face and a wagging tail and you can’t put a price on that,” said CSM Gretchen Evans (retired).

You can still donate to help reach that $60,000 goal to sponsor 10 service dogs for veterans. Click HERE to donate. Click on the “Get Ticket” button and use the donation option.