WILLISTON, Fla. /Florida Newswire/ — Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs, Inc. a national 501(c)(3) non-profit, located in Williston, Fla. and the Community Foundation for Ocala Marion County are proud to announce, and extend our heartfelt thanks and appreciation to Al and Judith Dunlap for their incredibly generous gift of $350,000 to support the work of training medical service dogs for Veterans and First Responders.
Al and Judith are known for their passion for animals, especially German shepherds. They are long-time supporters and donors to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office K9 Unit. On a recent visit and tour of Guardian Angels, the Dunlap’s saw first-hand the life-saving work being done in training predominantly German Shepherds to become individually-trained medical service dogs.
Al and Judith knew immediately that they wanted to be a part of this work inquiring, “How many dogs can be trained with this gift?” It takes upwards of two (2) years to train a fully functioning service dog at a cost of approximately $22,000. This is all accomplished at no cost to the veteran who is paired with his/her dog for life.
The Community Foundation is honored to partner with Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs in creating a pass-through fund for matching gifts for their year-end campaign to not only raise funds for training but to launch their campaign to expand to a new state of the art facility on 60+ acres in Levy County.
Carol Borden, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Guardian Angels states: “The need is so great. With 20-22 veterans committing suicide on a daily basis, we are so very thankful to Al and Judith Dunlap for their tremendous gift to our organization. These funds will make a life changing difference for so many of our heroes, waiting for help.”
In fact, once paired with a Guardian Angels Medical Service Dog, the rate of suicide in their recipients is zero.
About Community Foundation for Ocala Marion County:
Community Foundation for Ocala Marion County is a 501(c)(3) public charity based in Florida that serves as convener-collaborator-catalyst for sustainable community building through philanthropic fund management for donors, professional advisors and nonprofits in four key sectors: civic, cultural, community and economic development.
For additional information about the Community Foundation, see: http://www.ocalafoundation.org/.
To donate to Guardian Angels visit: http://www.ocalafoundation.org/me/community-foundation-ocala-marion-county/guardian-angels-medical-service-dogs-14709.html
About Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs:
Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs is a 501(c)(3) based in Williston, Florida and has grown into a nation-wide Service Dog Organization. We raise, train and then donate individually trained medical service dogs to veterans, first responders and others who suffer from disabilities including PTS, Traumatic Brain Injury, mobility issues and more. Guardian Angels receives up to 40 applications each day for one of their medical Service Dogs. There is no state or federal funding available for this critical life-saving program. Over the past 6 years, Guardian Angels has paired more than 200 individually trained medical service dogs with those in need, and with your help, they can do even more.
For more information on our program, visit: http://www.medicalservicedogs.org/.
*Photo Caption: L to R: Al Dunlap, Donor; Wendy Richards, Mary Jo Brandt, COO of Guardian Angels; Barbara Fitos, Executive Director Community Foundation, Carol Borden, CEO of Guardian Angels; Frank Hennessey, Community Foundation; Nate Burney, Canine Program Director, Guardian Angels; and Judith Dunlap, Donor.