New puppies in Albemarle County begin their journey to become service dogs

New puppies in Albemarle County begin their journey to become service dogs
Puppies with Service Dogs of Virginia play together at 3 weeks old. (Source: WVIR)

ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - Nine newborn puppies in Albemarle County could make a big difference in the lives of people with disabilities down the road. Right now, the puppies are just three weeks old.

Peggy Law, Director of Service Dogs of Virginia, is raising the litter as a part of a co-op with Assistance Dogs International. Service Dogs of Virginia will keep and train five of the puppies beyond the first eight weeks.

Even though it costs Law about $40,000 per dog when all is said and done after two full years of training, she hopes to place the pups with people in need in the Charlottesville-Albemarle area, all for free.

“We train for veterans and first responders who have PTSD and we train for people in wheelchairs, so these dogs make a huge difference for someone," Law said. “The better we can make them, the better we can help someone.”

The service dogs are also trained in autism service, medical alert, and can eventually work in places like counseling centers and schools.

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