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Put on the Dogs for Vets Fundraiser

Put on your heels or an old pair of jeans to meet some playful and educated pups at the first annual fundraiser for the Educated Canines Assisting with Disabilities in Greenwich. The "Denim, Heels, Boots and Tails" event Saturday will benefit the organization and honor wounded veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan who have received service dogs.

Lu and Dale Picard, who have been a part of service dog rehabilitation for a number of years, founded the educated canines group. The puppies are born and raised in Torrington and placed throughout the state and New York for training.

"As a nonprofit organization, the costs of raising and training each dog is a big factor in how many dogs can be placed each years," said Patricia Roberts, a spokeswoman for Educated Canines Assisting with Disabilities. "From birth to placement, each dog will cost approximately $30,000. We only rely on donations and sponsorships."

At the fundraising event, at least 10 dogs, including two puppies, will show off their wagging tails. There also will be a "Build a Dog" contest, in which guests can "buy" or outbid for parts of a portrait of a service dog. An upright tail, four legs, two ears, a wet nose, two big, black eyes and maybe even a spot will be up for grabs. Bids depend on which part of the dog is auctioned.

"With each friend made, each dollar collected, more veterans, more children and more adults will get what they want most—a highly trained dog who will give them a more independent and fuller life," said Roberts.

The event will be 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 11, at the McLeod house on Byram Shore Road. To RSVP or donate, call 914-693-0600, Ext. 1950.

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