America’s VetDogs Provides President George H.W. Bush With Service Dog Sully 


Smithtown, NY (June 26, 2018): America’s VetDogs is honored to place a specially-trained service dog with the 41st president of the United States, George H.W. Bush.  Sully, a 2-year-old yellow Labrador Retriever, was specifically matched to provide support and companionship to Mr. Bush in his daily activities.  America’s VetDogs was recommended to the former president through VetDogs’ relationship with President Bush and Clinton with Sully.Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD. 

Sully is named after former airline pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger III, who became famous for landing a damaged passenger jet on the Hudson River in 2009.  Sully the dog was raised and trained through the VetDogs prison puppy program, in which inmates raise future service dogs until the dog is about 15 months old. Inmate handlers begin working with puppies on housebreaking, obedience, standardized commands, and teaching the three foundations of service dog tasks: retrieve, tug, and push – all part of the VetDogs training curriculum.  Once a dog returns back VetDogs’ Smithtown campus, training begins and specific tasks are fine-tuned and refined for an individual’s particular needs. 

“America’s VetDogs’ trainers and staff worked closely with the president’s team to find the best match,” said John Miller, president and CEO of America’s VetDogs, “We are excited to work with President Bush and utilize this opportunity to shine a light on the services America’s VetDogs provides veterans and first responders to live a life without boundaries.” 

America’s VetDogs trains and places guide dogs for individuals who are blind or have low vision; hearing dogs for those who have lost their hearing later in life; service dogs for those with other physical disabilities; physical and occupational therapy dogs to aid in the rehabilitation process in military and VA hospitals, and PTSD service dogs to help mitigate the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder.  

America’s VetDogs service dogs can be trained to do many tasks.  They include retrieving items as small as a credit card to an object as large as a dropped support cane, opening and closing doors, waking their handler from a nightmare, getting help or pushing an emergency button, bracing and supporting their handler when standing or walking up and down stairs, and many more.

It costs more than $50,000 to breed, raise, train, and place one assistance dog; however, all of VetDogs’ services are provided at no charge to the individual.  Funding comes from the generosity of individuals, corporations, foundations, businesses, and service and fraternal clubs. To learn make a gift to support the VetDogs mission CLICK HERE.

About America’s VetDogs
Since 2003, America’s VetDogs (www.VetDogs.org) has trained and placed guide and service dogs to provide independence, enhanced mobility, and companionship to veterans with disabilities from all eras. In 2015, VetDogs opened its programs to first responders, including fire, police, and emergency medical personnel.  America's VetDogs is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization founded by the Guide Dog Foundation and serves clients from across the United States.  VetDogs relies on contributions from generous individuals, corporations, service clubs, and foundations to fund its mission to help those who have served our country live with dignity and independence.  It costs over $50,000 to breed, raise, train, and place one assistance dog, but America’s VetDogs provides its services completely free of charge to the individual.

Be sure to watch Sunny on NBC’s TODAY, and follow our other “Puppies with a Purpose” on NBC stations in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Baltimore, and Boston, and on social media.  

America’s VetDogs has been accredited by both the International Guide Dog Federation and Assistance Dogs International. 

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