John W. Danforth Co., a large mechanical contractor in the northeast, recently met an important new team member. However, this team member will never work at one of the company’s offices, in any of its fabrication shop facilities, nor on any of its job sites.
Danforth representatives gathered at the offices of WNY Heroes to meet Piper, the American Bulldog that Danforth is sponsoring to participate in the “Pawsitive for Heroes” program. Thanks to Danforth’s financial support, Piper will now undergo special training to be a service dog for a local military Veteran.
“We are proud to have dozens of Veterans with several decades of combined service to our country among our Danforth employees,” said Danforth Chairman Kevin “Duke” Reilly. “Our Veterans live a code of service and sacrifice on behalf of others. Danforth is thrilled to do our part in supporting WNY Heroes and the work they do to assist our Veterans and their families. We could not be prouder to have Piper as part of our extended Danforth family.”
Launched in 2014, the “Pawsitive for Heroes” program helps facilitate service dog training for local Veterans. Dogs and their owners go through an 18-month training program, properly preparing the dogs for this important role. Through the support of sponsors like Danforth, WNY Heroes pays for the training and related treatments and services for the dog, as well as the dog’s service vest and patches, along with grooming for one year. Since launching the program, WNY Heroes has successfully paired more than 170 dogs with Veterans in need of support.
“Veterans deal with many unique, and often unseen and unexpressed, challenges as a result of their service,” said Chris Krieger, President and Co-Founder of WNY Heroes and an Iraq War Veteran. “A service dog is trained to assist with that single individual’s need or purpose, so this is a very special and specialized role. When they wear their vest, the dog is in uniform, ready to serve those who served. Thanks to committed partners like Danforth, we are able to train and pair dogs with Veterans who need support.”
Founded in 2007, WNY Heroes provides Veterans, members of the armed services, and the widows and children of deceased Veterans with access to essential services, financial assistance and resources that support their lives and sustain their dignity. The organization has grown exponentially over the past 16 years, becoming a critical life-sustaining vehicle for Veterans and their families by providing immediate financial and programming assistance to those in need.
For more information on WNY Heroes and the services it provides, visit wnyheroes.org.
Founded in Buffalo in 1884, Danforth has more than 1,000 employees across a geographic footprint that includes operations in Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, and Albany, New York, Columbus, Ohio, and Burlington, Vermont. The company works collaboratively with its union labor partners including the United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters, the Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation (SMART) Workers, and several other labor partners across many local union jurisdictions throughout the northeast and beyond. Danforth operates an Employee Stock Ownership Plan, giving the company’s workforce an ownership stake in the company. For more information, visit jwdanforth.com.