Southern Utah veterans present donation to organization that provides life-changing service dogs

Bruce Carroll (left) with his service dog Rosie and his wife Diane as executive director Cathy Powell thanks the Vietnam Veterans of America Southern Utah Chapter 961 for their donation, Nov. 17, 2018 | Photo by Markee Heckenliable, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Looking to give back to an organization dedicated to providing much-needed comfort and support, veterans in St. George presented a $300 check to Loving Angel Service Dogs.

During its Saturday morning meeting at the Elks Lodge, the Vietnam Veterans of America Southern Utah Chapter 961 awarded the check to the nonprofit organization in thanks for what it does to help veterans.

A couple months ago, Loving Angel Executive Director Cathy Powell gave a presentation on her organization’s service puppies-in-training to the Vietnam Veterans group. Shortly after that, the group decided to donate to the organization.

I’m always humbled by something like this,” Powell said after receiving the check. “It’s what keeps us going.”

Powell and volunteers train service dogs and place them with children and adults with disabilities for a nominal fee. But for U.S. military veterans, these service dogs are gifted free of charge.

Read more: Partnerships of love: How a St. George service dog charity is changing lives

Loving Angel only asks clients to demonstrate their dedication to receiving a service dog by raising money for some of the expenses Loving Angel encounters, according to its website. Expenses for these service dogs can reach up to $10,000 per dog. However, the organization doesn’t ask veterans to pay any fees because of their dedication and sacrifice for the U.S.

Powell has multiple family members who are veterans.

Veterans hold a very special place in my heart,” she said.

Powell plans to use the money that was awarded Saturday to pay for bills because the current litter has already racked up close to $3,000 in veterinarian bills. Loving Angel volunteers are also “picky” in what they feed the service dogs-in-training, Powell said, adding that the funding they receive helps pay for healthy food and supplements.

Bruce and Diane Carroll with their service dog Rosie from Loving Angel Service Dogs at the Elks Lodge in St. George, Utah, Nov. 17, 2018 | Photo by Markee Heckenliable, St. George News

Some of the services dogs Loving Angel has gifted and trained tagged along Saturday. Among them was “Rosie,” the first service dog the organization gifted to a veteran.

Rosie has been able to provide comfort and support for Bruce Carroll, who served as a combat marine in Vietnam. His wife Diane Carroll said Rosie has completely changed his life.

“He went from being isolated and not feeling like he could even go into a mall to being able to go out,” Diane Carroll said, adding that they’ve even been able to take Rosie to church with them. “He’s now inundated with people. He talks all of the time.”

Although these service dogs are gifted to veterans, Powell’s husband said the service dogs aren’t free because veterans paid a high price to get them.

“For most of them, the battle continues when you come home,” Powell said. “If these dogs can help out at all, that’s why we do it.”

To learn more about Loving Angel and how donations are used, click here.

Email: mheckenliable@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews | @markeekaenews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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1 Comment

  • carol November 17, 2018 at 9:16 pm

    Loving Angel is the perfect volunteer opportunity. The dogs give you so much love as you work with them. It is a blessing to see the devotion that Cathy has for each dog and each volunteer. Those dogs begin their healing service long before they are placed.

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