Thomas Byham, Promotion Producer
When I heard about this opportunity, I knew I had to get involved. Raising a puppy to be a veteran’s service dog is such a unique way to give back to someone who may have risked their life for our country. It’s exciting to know that our efforts directly affect the lives of both the dog and a veteran in need.
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Chelsea Judge, Promotion Producer
My name is Chelsea, and I am a promotion producer at Fox 7. I love dogs of all shapes and sizes, and recently rescued a Basset Hound named Scoop! My favorite thing about dogs is their silly and happy demeanors, but what the Patriot Paws dogs can offer is on another level. Knowing I played a small role in raising this puppy before he changes a veteran’s life for the better is so rewarding
Puppy Raiser PAWtner
Kevin McPherson, News Director
Being in the news business every day - I see all the challenges that veterans face. When I heard about Patriot Paws, I thought it was such a great service and liked the idea of being able to help make life easier for a veteran.
Jennifer Kendall, Reporter
I have always had a special place in my heart for the men and women who sign up to service in the military. To have the opportunity to give back to those who were willing to give it all to protect our freedoms is something I could not pass up. I have always been a dog lover as well. I personally know the healing power dogs possess after raising two Labradors of my own. To be able to help a veteran while spending time with a puppy is truly the best of both worlds. I feel honored to be able to help train a future service dog with Patriot PAWS
FOX 7 News in Austin, Texas cares about veterans. It was already evident through their FOX 7 feature, Care Force. Care Force is a bi-monthly feature that focuses on issues that affect veterans.
We first met FOX 7 News when reporter, Elizabeth Saab visited Patriot PAWS in February 2016 to spotlight Patriot PAWS for the Care Force feature. So, when we were looking for a media partner to raise a puppy, we reached out to FOX 7.
We are so excited to PAWtner with FOX 7 for this Puppy Raiser Project. It is a natural fit, FOX is already a strong supporter of veterans and they love dogs!
Eight brave staffers volunteered to attend the required P.R.I.T. (Puppy Raisers in Training) classes. They will work together to care for the dog, socialize and help train the dog for the next four months.
Meet the FOX 7 PAWtners
Tommy, a very special 14 week-old black Labrador Retriever was chosen from several puppies in the Patriot PAWS program to participate in the FOX 7 Puppy Raiser PAWtnership. Tommy is sponsored by Leinbach Company out of Tulsa, OK.
Stay Tuned for . . ."Around Town with Tommy"
Pam Vaught, News Director
"We've made veterans and issues they face a top priority at FOX 7 for almost 4 years now. Patriot PAWS Service Dogs takes us in a new direction in helping veterans. I wanted to be part of this project because I feel strongly about helping veterans and I think this is one of the best services around. And, I love dogs!
Lauren Can't Reid, Digital Producer
My name is Lauren Can’t Reid and I am a 25-year-old quirky, avid animal lover. Dogs are wonderful, loving companions who can have such a positive impact on your life. Their joy is infectious and can brighten (almost) anybody’s day. So when I was presented with an opportunity to help raise and train a puppy that would go on to help a former veteran or police officer reclaim their independence, I couldn’t resist getting involved. Patriot Paws is dedicated to training service dogs that can help make the lives of others a little bit easier, four paws at a time. I am so excited to be working with Patriot Paws as a dog trainer and am very grateful to be able to give back to the community in such a fun, rewarding way.
The Tommy Cam
Ann Wyatt Little, Good Day Austin Saturday & Sunday
You can see Ann Wyatt Little on FOX 7's Good Day Austin Saturdays & Sundays 6-8am.
Originally from Nashville, TN, Ann Wyatt graduated with a double major in Convergence Journalism and Political Science at SouthernMethodist University. Following graduation, AWL packed her bags and moved west to Texas where she started as a reporter and worked her way into producing and anchoring her own weekend show on FOX 7.
Tania Ortega, Reporter
I have always been a dog lover. I always joke with people that I would adopt 10 dogs if I could. But when the opportunity came along to be a trainer, I couldn’t pass it up. I covered the military community at Ft. Hood for several years during my previous reporting job. I got to know these stories of loss and bravery from the people who lived them. For that reason, helping veterans in need was a no brainer. I look forward to helping with our puppy and I know that when he graduates he will be contributing to a life well lived.
Beginning Sunday, September 18th, tune in each week with Ann Wyatt Little, to see where in Austin Tommy has visited as he begins his journey to becoming a service dog. Link will be available soon.
Tommy, a 14 week-old black Labrador Retriever will be raised by FOX 7 Austin Puppy Raiser Team. Tommy is sponsored by Leinbach Company out of Tulsa, OK.