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Breeder Donates Dogs to Veterans (March 8, 2014 newspaper article)

Breeder Donates Dogs to Veterans

Jonesboro, AR

by: Sarah Morris

Featured in: The Saturday Sun; Arkansas' best community newspaper, serving Arkansas' best communities (March 8, 2014)

"The elimination of suicide and suicide attempts because of post-traumatic stress disorder is Kay Dale's overall goal. The Paragould resident's intent is simple: train German Shepherds to serve as emotional support dogs for the U.S. Veterans impacted by PTSD.

A German Shepherd breeder, Dale said the dogs are excellent because they are protective and can be trained to assist their owners daily. Dale got involved after she met Donnamarie Freedman of Camp Hill, Penn., and learned Freedman's son, Cpl. Dane Freedman, committed suicide Dec. 13 because of PTSD. Dane served with the U.S. Marine Corps in Iraq and Afghanistan. He struggled with depression and had attempted suicide before, Freedman said. His family gave him a service dog, Lager which helped.

But at 14 months, Lager died because of heart problems. Freedman said her son kept repeating, "What am I going to do?" Twenty days later, he committed suicide. He was one of four in his unit to commit suicide since their deployment. Freedman has since started the Cpl. Dane M. D. Freedman Suicide Awareness Scholarship Fund and the Cpl. Dane Freedman PTSD Service Dog Fund, which donates service dogs to struggling veterans free of charge. The work inspired Dale.

"I could do that," Dale said. "From every litter, I will donate three puppies." Dale started her breeding business, Poje German Shepherds, last year. She breeds for temperament and health. A local dog trainer has volunteered to help her prepare the puppies to become emotional supports dogs as well as train two dogs for sight and hearing. Freedman said it is in part due to Dale that they are able to donate three service dogs to veterans who served with Dane. Dale will donate a fourth puppy to a local veteran.

In March, Dale said she would travel to donate puppies from her litter to veterans living near Detriot, Mich.; Hershey, Penn.; Irving, Texas; and the Jonesboro area. Dale is raffling off a third-generation iPad to pay for the cost of delivering each of the puppies to the new owners along with training of how to care for them. The raffle will be held at 2 p.m. March 15 at Hollywood Feed in Jonesboro, which is donating kennels and beds for each of the puppies. The store will also host a two-hour house training seminar from 10 a.m. to noon March 22 where Dale will present information to raise awareness about PTSD.

To learn more, go to or contact Dale at 253-7508."

Awesome article in the paper from last month, we can't thank Kay Dale at Poje German Shepherds enough!!

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