Shea Pupdate

In June 2023, Shea returned to America's VetDogs campus to begin his formal training. Shea will continue with his training over the next three months before he is placed with a veteran or first responder with disabilities. Stay tuned for more Shea updates!

Amazin’ Mets Foundation Partners with America’s VetDogs to Raise Future Service Dog

First-Ever MLB Service Dog Will Be Trained and Placed with Disabled U.S. Veteran or First Responder 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, March 21, 2022 (Flushing, NY) – The Amazin’ Mets Foundation (AMF), the philanthropic arm of the New York Mets, is pleased to sponsor a future service dog in partnership with America’s VetDogs, a New York-based national nonprofit that provides specially trained service dogs to veterans and first responders with disabilities, to name and co-raise a future service dog. 

The AMF Pup is an adorable, 11-week-old, male, yellow Labrador Retriever, who will undergo basic training and socialization with the Amazin’ Mets Foundation staff, New York Mets’ players and fans for the next 16 to ‘18 months. The pup will attend community events, practices and select home games at Citi Field to expose him to various environments that will help mold him into a confident and calm future service dog. Fans can follow the pup on Instagram at @MetsVetDog to stay up-to-date on his training and local appearances.

Fans will have a chance to help name the new team pup by casting their vote on his name via the @Mets Twitter, Facebook and Instagram pages. Voting will run from March 21 through March 23, the same day it will be announced.   

“We are very excited to be sponsoring our first VetDog. We hope that this AMF puppy will bring awareness to an organization that provides renewed independence to veterans and first responders as well as create fun and interactive opportunities for our fans,” said Alex Cohen, President of the Amazin’ Mets Foundation. 

“America’s VetDogs is thrilled to partner with the Amazin’ Mets Foundation on co-raising the team and league’s first future service dog,” said John Miller, president & CEO of America’s VetDogs. “The Amazin’ Mets Foundation’s passion for supporting our nation’s heroes aligns with our mission to provide trained service dogs for veterans and first responders with disabilities. This opportunity offers a unique environment for the pup to grow and thrive in. A well-socialized puppy will have fewer adjustments to make when he returns to VetDogs for advanced service dog training. When it’s time, that confidence will help someone with disabilities conquer any challenges they may face together as a team.”

It costs over $50,000 to breed, raise, train, and place one assistance dog; however, all of the VetDogs’ services are provided at no charge to the individual.  Funding comes from the generosity of individuals, corporations, and service and fraternal clubs.

About the Amazin’ Mets Foundation
The Amazin’ Mets Foundation is committed to providing needed services and opportunities to children, families and under-served groups in our neighborhoods and communities. 

About America’s VetDogs
Since 2003, America’s VetDogs ( 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. America’s VetDogs has been accredited by both the International Guide Dog Federation and Assistance Dogs International. 

Shea Included in New York Mets' "Hall of Fame & Museum"

The Mets team pup and future service dog in training, Shea has been included in the Mets Hall of Fame and Museum located inside Citi Field, off the Jackie Robinson Rotunda.

The “2022: Season in Review” exhibit pays tribute to the incredible achievements and milestones accomplished by the 2022 Mets, on and off the field. The exhibit includes a puppy-sized mannequin of Shea wearing his co-branded America’s VetDogs and Mets service dog vest. A plaque below the cutout reads, “In March 2022 the Mets became the first team in Major League Baseball to sponsor, name, and co-raise a service dog-in-training through a partnership with America’s Vet Dogs. Shea, named by popular fan vote, joined players and fans for numerous games and events at Citi field during the 2022 season.” Shea’s display is proudly exhibited among legendary company including a gold first base from Keith Hernandez’s number retirement ceremony, a baseball from the Mets 101st win of the season, and a trumpet “played” by Mr. and Mrs. Met during closer Edwin Diaz’s walk-out song, Narco



Meet  sHEA & HIS Puppy Raisers

Hello Mets fans!  I'm Shea

As the first Puppy With a Purpose in Major League Baseball, I am so excited to emBARK on this new journey! For the next 16 months, you can see me at Mets home games and community events as a part of my training to become a well-rounded future service dog. I can’t wait to meet my new teammates and the fans this season at Citi Field and show off all the skills I am learning that will one day help a Veteran or First Responder with disabilities. Be sure to catch me on my Instagram and Twitter accounts, @metsvetdog.

Birthday: January 2, 2022
Beth (Black Labrador Retriever)
Mikey (Yellow Labrador Retriever)
This little Yellow Labrador Retriever came from a litter of twelve puppies that included yellow and black colored pups.

Meet Tom & Deb Rubing

Tom and Deb Rubing are Long Island natives that live just east of Smithtown, NY. The two have been married for thirty-four years and enjoy going to the beach, gardening, golfing, reading, playing cards, and of course they LOVE dogs. 

Deb was born and raised on Long Island, while Tom was born and raised in Queens, just a few minutes from the New York Mets former stadium, Shea Stadium and the more recent, Citi Field. As lifelong Mets fans, Tom fondly remembers the Amazin’ Mets of the 1969 World Series team when he was just ten years old.

The Rubings were first introduced to America’s VetDogs (AVD) and the Guide Dog Foundation (GDF) when Deb met a volunteer puppy raiser many years ago. Tom and Deb have now been volunteering for GDF and AVD for more than ten years. Their volunteering has included helping in the kennel, puppy raising, home checks, public events, home socializations, and hosting pups as breeder caretakers. The two have raised six puppies and cared for two breeder dogs, seeing three litters with 25 future guide and service dog puppies.  “Puppy raising is very rewarding, and it keeps Deb and I busy,” Tom said. “It is a great way to spend retirement, I would highly recommend puppy raising to anyone who is interested.”

Tom and Deb take their puppy raising duties very seriously and are dedicated to the commitment to raise a puppy to become a calm, confident, and well-mannered future service, or guide dog.  “When we puppy raise and it comes time for the pup to leave our home, we are filled with some sadness but a lot of pride,” Deb says. “We understand they are moving on to the next step in their journey of becoming a guide or service dog for someone in need. It’s definitely bittersweet, but a good feeling.” Tom and Deb truly love volunteering any way they can and don’t plan on stopping any time soon. They look forward to an exciting season of baseball at Citi Field with newest addition to the team roster.