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Walkathon raises money to pair veterans with service dogs

Southeastern Guide Dogs has paired thousands of veterans with guide and service dogs free of charge.

TAMPA, Fla. — Before he was the Associate Director for Philanthropy at Southeastern Guide Dogs, Sean Brown served his country in the United States Army, and he’s got the scars to prove it.

"When I got out I was 100% disabled veteran, I've had nine major surgeries on my left knee including a total knee replacement and I'm only 37,” Brown said.

He’s one of the thousands of veterans that found new life through Southeastern Guide Dogs.

"My dog has made it possible where I can start to do things and find success in life again and start to reach out and accomplish new goals,” he said. 

The dogs are trained to help with everything from physical injuries to mental ones.

“A lot of veterans come back with PTSD, and these dogs comfort them, they can tell when they're troubled, and they calm them down,” Carole Adamczyk, an area coordinator for Macdill Puppy Raisers said. 

The walkathon is one of the organization's biggest fundraisers, and those who came out contributed to a cause that’s making a real difference. 10 Tampa Bay is a proud sponsor of this event. 

"We have not lost a single recipient that's had one of our service dogs and in the war on suicide, we all hear the numbers — 22 a day. 17 a day. 44 a day. It's zero at Southeastern Guide Dogs,” Brown said. 

An event that helps those who served to continue walking through life, one step, or paw at a time.

“Our dogs help us accomplish dreams and make those dreams come true,” he said.

From conception until retirement, each service dog costs 50 thousand dollars. If you want to learn more about Southeastern Guide Dogs you can head to their website here

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