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German Shepherds for Veterans In Need

german shepherds for veterans
Photo Credit: Leah Williams

After two days and two drivers traveling through several states, Major, a one-year-old German Shepherd, arrived at his new home with his favorite toy, a green hippo.

Cory Klitzing of Vandalia, Illinois, is a National Guard veteran who welcomed Major upon his arrival. “I think this is amazing,” Klitzing said as he sat beside his new companion.

Red Leg Tech, a new organization with a mission to assist as many service members and first responders as possible, donated a service dog named Major to Klitzing.

german shepherd donated to vet

Photo Credit: Leah Williams

According to Jennifer Sandiford, a volunteer with the group, Red Leg Tech was started by two retired Army veterans who want to give back to the community. They both had German Shepherds and realized they could assist their fellow brothers and sisters who were in need.

German Shepherds have good temperaments and make ideal service dogs. “They are great dogs,” Sandiford said.

In searching for a veteran for the donation, Sandiford said Klitzing’s name kept coming up. Klitzing enlisted in the National Guard in 2005, deployed to  Afghanistan in 2008, and retired in 2014.

Klitzing had been seeking a service dog when the organization reached out.

“I took it as a sign, Klitzing said. “He’ll be a good companion, someone I can depend on and who can depend on me. Keep me from getting silly thoughts in my head.”

german shepherd for veteran

Photo Credit: Leah Williams

Service dog placement and delivery are just part of Red Leg Tech’s mission. Sandiford said volunteers helped a Vietnam veteran get access to housing and assisted with a little girl’s birthday party for a family who had fallen on hard times.

According to Sandiford, the intention is for local veterans to continue to experience the same sense of belonging and camaraderie they did while serving. Red Leg Tech is constantly looking for opportunities to assist other veterans who might be in need.

Whatever lies ahead, Klitzing said he is looking forward to filling his days with trips to the nearby dog park and other adventures. “I’m just hoping to be the best dog dad I can be,” he said.

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