Shelter dog finds purpose in helping local veterans

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Willow is a three-year old German Shepherd that was having trouble getting adopted at the Carthage Humane Society.

She was aggressive towards cats and humans, and no one was able to adopt her within city limits.

“She had the little ‘nipping in the face’ thing when she got really excited–instead of licking you, she would want to nip you,” explained humane society manager Amber Gilmore.

A volunteer at the humane society reached out to On Command Canine Training Academy and asked for help.

Willow experienced three weeks of obedience training and was expected to come back afterwards.

“She passed On Command amazingly around the cats,” Gilmore added. “She didn’t even show any interest towards the cats when she did her cat test with them, which is absolutely amazing. We never even expected that.”

On Command saw so much potential in willow, they decided to adopt her and train her to become a service animal for veterans.

“That dog gives that veteran a purpose again–a purpose to get up out of bed, someone to take care of, a partner if you will,” said owner Tim Franks.

“It was a really happy moment to hear that she did not only did so well, but they are going to advance her to be a service animal,” Gilmore explained.

Willow will begin task training at the training academy once she is matched with a veteran.

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