Erie Insurance Employees Raise Money for a Medical Service Dog f - Erie News Now | WICU & WSEE in Erie, PA

Erie Insurance Employees Raise Money for a Medical Service Dog for a Local Veteran

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Employees at Erie Insurance are hosting a fundraiser Friday night, to raise money for a specially trained dog, to help military veterans.

Friday morning Huey stopped by Erie Insurance, he's a medical service dog, highly-trained to meet the needs of military vets, treating disabilities like PTSD, seizures, or traumatic brain injuries.

Erie Insurance employees who are a part of the Veterans Affinity Network are raising money for a dog named "Blue," a now 7-month old dog that will be paired with a local veteran, "It's just something very impactful, seeing the stories and hearing the stories of veterans who are actually paired, there's no suicides, there's no divorces, seeing how the veterans change completely their outlook on life, it's just amazing," said Tina Hopper, Co-Chair of the Veterans Affinity Network at Erie Insurance.

The Florida based company, Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs, says it costs $25,000, and takes more than a year to raise and train a medical service dog.

The dogs can do things like, picking up something that is dropped, push a button to call 911 in case of an emergency, sense a seizure, carefully wake someone experience night tremors.

And once paired with a veteran, Carol Borden, Founder & CEO of Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs says the dogs make an immediate impact, "It's almost like magic, once we introduce them to their dog, our dogs start working and bonding and actually reacting to their needs within just a few hours," said Bordon. "And for the very first time they're able to start sleeping all night, their anxiety levels go down, the dogs are alerting to their different issues an grounding them," Bordon continued.

The fundraiser is set for Friday night from 5:00-9:00 at the Bourbon Barrel in downtown Erie.

It's $10.00 at the door and includes a buffet and raffle.

And celebrity bartenders will be serving drinks, including our own Erie News Now Emily Matson, Erie's Police Chief and Captain, and several Erie Insurance employees.

Erie Insurance employees learned more about "Blue" and how she will eventually be able to help a local veteran, during a ceremony Friday morning at the company.

Erie Insurance hosted the Veterans Day ceremony, to honor veterans, specifically the dozens of veterans who work at Erie Insurance.

The ceremony included a rendition of the National Anthem, sung by an Erie High School ROTC student.

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