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"Dog Bless You" Philanthropist Donates 170 Dogs to Veterans

After adopting a Golden Retriever, Charlie Annenberg Weingarten founded the nonprofit.

 |  Sep 3rd 2013  |   13 Contributions


When Charlie Annenberg Weingarten met Lucky, an abandoned Golden Retriever, in 2001, it was love at first sight. Lucky went everywhere with Weingarten and inspired him to do more to strengthen dog and human connections through philanthropy.

In 2010, Weingarten created a nonprofit called Dog Bless You, whose Facebook page has more than 510,000 fans. Weingarten named the organization “Dog Bless You” because several years earlier Lucky had befriended a homeless man in San Francisco. As they were leaving, the man said, "Dog bless you."

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Meet Samaria, a Canines for Service dog in training. Photo: Facebook

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Some of the service dogs graduate from training. Photo courtesy Dog Bless You's Facebook page

Dog Bless You pairs up service dogs with military veterans who have post-traumatic stress disorder. As a result, 170 guide dogs, search-and-rescue dogs, and service dogs have been donated to veterans during the past three years, reports the Associated Press.

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Howard the Tactical Explosive Detection Dog and his handler, Alexander, get ready for bed in Afghanistan. Image via Dog Bless You's Facebook page.

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K9s for Warriors graduate team David and Wilco. Photo courtesy Dog Bless You's Facebook page.

Service dogs cost $2,000 to $50,000, depending on how much training they need. According to the article, Weingarten plans to accelerate the program because there are waiting lists at every training school. Experts say thousands of veterans would benefit from a dog.

Some training organizations, such as Warrior Canine Connection in Brookville, Maryland, allow the veterans to raise the service dogs for the first eight to 12 weeks. Then the dogs go live with volunteers from military or veterans' organizations.

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Charlie Annenberg Weingarten and his dog, Lucky. Photo: Facebook

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Ajax the soldier dog gets regular toothbrushings on deployment. Photo courtesy Dog Bless You's Facebook page

Weingarten is the grandson of the late Walter H. Annenberg, and is a vice president and director of the Annenberg Foundation. He donates as much as $8 million a year.

Via Associated Press

Read more about service dogs and military working dogs: 

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