Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell dedicated a new dog run and canine training course Tuesday at the Putnam County Veterans Memorial Park.
The Putnam County Guardian Canine Complex, a 50,000-square-foot public dog park and Canine training course that will open in the Spring, will include the county’s first public dog run as well as an enclosed obstacle course for training service dogs and police K9s.
“This dog park and training facility will enhance the quality of life in Putnam County,” County Executive Odell said after the event. “Not only will it provide a place for dogs and their owners to socialize, but it will also provide a much-needed course for organizations, like Guardian Revival, that train service and companion dogs for those who need them most.”
The organization, Guardian Revival, runs a program called “Boots & Paws” that trains companion and service dogs for Veterans & First Responders – our guardians.
“I want to thank the Putnam County Highway Department and the Parks Department for doing such an excellent job and for doing it so fast,” said Alex Othmer, co-founder and executive director of Guardian Revival. “I especially want to thank County Executive Odell and her administration for prioritizing the mental healthcare of Veterans and First Responders.”
The facility is dedicated to the memory of Veterans Joseph P. Dwyer and Max Kalkstein, two guardians we lost to suicide.
Earlier this year, the Joseph P. Dwyer Vet2Vet program for Putnam County merged with Guardian Revival, a local nonprofit focused on improving the mental health & wellbeing of Veterans & First Responders.
Under Guardian Revival leadership and alongside Karl Rohde, director of Putnam County Veterans Service Agency, the Joseph P. Dwyer Vet2Vet program will continue its legacy of service and support to our Veterans. In addition to Boots & Paws, Guardian Revival runs: Another Summit, a therapeutic outdoor adventure program that organizes and leads outdoor activities for Veterans & First Responders such as hiking, backpacking, and paddling adventures; and Guardian Encore, a therapeutic music program that provides Veterans & First Responders with the opportunity to learn, write, play, record, and share music. Guardian Revival also hosts peer-to-peer services, community events, and mental health & suicide prevention training and education.