DETROIT (FOX 2) – Walter Hart Jr. is looking to connect local vets with a new pet.
“I want to give back to the city of Detroit, my talents again with the help of people, I can do it, I can succeed,” he said.
Walter ran “Canine Companions Limited”, on the west side of Detroit near Tyler Street. For about a decade, his team trained therapy dogs for the elderly, law enforcement and veterans. But they finally had to close the association.
“The finances weren’t there and the help wasn’t there,” he said. “We were definitely in trouble, trying to raise money to make it work there.”
Yet Walter trained dogs all over the country for a living and, through his non-profit organization, always had a soft spot for veterans – his father fought in Vietnam and his son in the military.
“I’ve always trained dogs for veterans, but it wasn’t as bad as it was in four or five years,” he said. “When he came out he was disabled with PTSD.”
Now he’s heading into retirement and wants to spend that time rekindling the dream of reopening in Detroit near Tyler Street, a property they still own.
“My dream is to see veterans come in and out of this with training and dog training certificates for other veterans with PTSD,” he said.
Veterans are helping veterans — and he even plans to use rescue dogs straight from Detroit — as therapy dogs, with the right training. Currently, the first step is to restore the property.
“Volunteers to help us clean up, (the) next moves would be to fundraise for the kennels and then go from there,” he said.
For more information about Canine Companions Limited, GO HERE.