ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – Ripley’s Red Train Tours are offering its trains as a hosting site for K9s for Warriors’ puppy raisers and their puppies Saturday.
The trains contribute to the variety of real-world public settings the dogs must go through as they’re trained to become service canines for combat veterans suffering from combat related mental and physicals illnesses.
“We are honored to have the opportunity to be part of such an amazing cause,” general manager for Ripley Entertainment Kim Kiff said. “Veterans are important to us. Earlier this year, we added parking spaces specifically designated for veteran use.”
K9s for Warriors’ puppy-raising program is a vital part of the nonprofit, Kiff said.
Although 95 percent of K9s for Warriors’ dogs are rescues, they also receives puppy donations from the community and breeders. Puppies are raised by K9s for Warriors volunteers until they turn a year old and can start their training at Camp K9.
Puppy-raisers help the puppies develop social skills and teach them the basic obedience needed before entering standard service-dog training.
“Our program is successful because of the support we receive from the community,” executive director for K9s for Warriors Rory Diamond said. “We are excited to have this new relationship with Ripley Entertainment, Inc., and are thankful for their desire to help us with our mission to combat PTSD.”
The event will host twenty puppy-raisers and 10 puppies onboard the Red Train for a special training exercise starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday.
The train will leave from the Old Sugar Mill Train Station at 254 San Marco Ave.
Guests and media are welcome to see the puppies and trainers off, and ask questions.