Last updated: April 02. 2013 6:34PM -

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According to Jennifer Rojek, the cost to put one veteran and dog through the Paws and Stripes program is $2,500.

Paws and Stripes provides service dogs for military veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. On April 7, noon to 3 p.m., The Abington Dog Park and a volunteer group from Marywood University will sponsor a fundraiser, “Operation: Tails for Troops” to raise money for the organization, which trains canines rescued from shelters. Professional service dog trainers​​​​​​​​​​ teach the dogs and veterans as a team​​​​​​​​​​, as noted on pawsandstripes.org.

Rojek said their goal is to raise $2,500, and if they exceed their goal, they plan to make a donation to the Abington Dog Park, S. Abington Township, and a local Veterans’ hospital.

“The fundraiser idea started back in the fall when I came across articles about how successful service dogs can be for mental health issues,” said Rojek, a graduate student in the counseling department at Marywood University and student service coordinator for her chapter of the national counseling honors society, Chi Sigma Iota.

“I was looking for a project for our group for the spring semester, as we are service-based. When I came across the Paws and Stripes website, I knew instantly that it would be a great opportunity for us to make this our next goal. ”

Rojek got the ball rolling with the help of Nina Pero, chapter student president; Marywood University student veteran alliance, and campus ministry. “…We heard about how nice the Abington Dog Park is, and it came up at one of our meetings that maybe they would let us hold the event there. I contacted the dog park representative Marie King, (dog park organizer) and she was thrilled about it and hence the partnership began.”

Marywood students will volunteer their time at the event.

Dress your pup in a patriotic costume and he or she will be eligible to win a prize for the most patriotic, cutest and funniest get up.

For more information, contact Rojek at 570.499.4940 or email jerojek@m.marywood.edu.

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