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Local dog trainer named ?CNN Hero? - Gilroy Dispatch: Community: cnn, human interest, gilroy california, mary cortani, gilroy

This is a story that I thought was wonderful and needs to be shared. Mary Cortani is a veteran, and a dog trainer. She is using her skills to run an organization she started, that trains veterans how to train and handle their own service dogs.

" Since Cortani, 55, founded Operation Freedoms Paws in 2010, the 501 (c3) nonprofit that empowers wounded veterans and others with disabilities to train and live with their own service dog has grown exponentially.
Cortani says OFP is now up to 75 veteran participants, including three young men with disabilities."

" OFP begins by hand-picking dogs from local shelters, then matching each canine to a compatible veteran. Many participants who go through the program struggle with issues such as post traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injury."

" Likening her approach to a Chinese proverb (“If you give a man a fish, they'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, he'll eat for a lifetime”), Cortani once told the Dispatch that “training the dog is the easy par. The hard part is training the person.”
OFP is currently searching for a permanent home. If you would like to contribute to this effort, or sponsor a service dog, OFP donations can be mailed to Operation Freedoms Paws,"

I think this is a wonderful program---it provides a great service to wounded veterans, gives them help, support, and a new chance at life. I think all of us know how much difference the right dog can make in a life filled with despair and hopelessness. We can help save wounded veterans and save rescue dogs as well at the same time.

I hope everyone will join me in giving help and support to this program in any way that you can. I'd like to see OFP become available anywhere in the country, to any wounded veteran or anyone else who needs the service they provide. And I'd like to see every dog in every shelter given a lifetime of love and important and needed work to do.
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