Get Fit with 6: paws4people introduces Cooki, discusses foundation’s mission
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Cooki, a 5-month-old puppy in training, came into the studio with paws4people ahead of WECT’s Get Fit with 6 Race and Festival. The event, scheduled to occur on Oct. 22, will benefit paws4people.
A local organization, paws4people serves throughout the country by providing assistance dogs to people in need. Per their website, the nonprofit has trained over 1,200 dogs to assist in areas such as psychiatric service, mobility and crisis response.
“All of our dogs go through the same three training programs,” said Executive Administration Director Kaitlin Bellamy. “So, our puppy development here in Wilmington, based out of our facility in Castle Hayne. Then, they go on to our paws4prisons program in West Virginia, so they’re trained by inmate trainers up in West Virginia. Then they come back to Wilmington, for the third portion of their training, and they’re actually trained by UNCW students. We have a minor program at UNCW in assistance dog training.”
Per their website, paws4people presently focuses on providing dogs to:
- Children and adolescents with physical, neurological, psychiatric and/or emotional disabilities
- Veterans and service members with chronic/complex post-traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD), traumatic brain injuries (TBI), military sexual trauma and/or moral injury
“They pick their career, pick their clients,” said Sara Harts, director of the Puppy Development Center. “We’re not going to, you know, force them to do a line of work they don’t want to do. So it’s all on them, their choice.”
The Get Fit with 6 Race and Festival will take place at Waterline Brewing at 721 Surry St. in Wilmington. Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Oct. 22. For more information about the event, please visit the Get Fit with 6 webpage.
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