KNOXVILLE, Tenn.—In honor of Veteran’s Day, Weigel’s, the East Tennessee chain with 68 convenience stores, presented Smoky Mountain Service Dogs with a check for $45,404.20, the amount needed to raise and train two service dogs for military vets, the company reports. The money was raised from customer donations.
Smoky Mountain Service Dogs of Lenior City Tennessee trains and provides service dogs to military veterans at no charge. The dogs are trained to help manage many veteran-related disabilities, such as navigation and mobility. The average training time for a dog is around 1,800 hours.
“We are fortunate to have the support of so many customers who made this donation possible,” said Bill Weigel, chairman, Weigel’s. “On the heal of Veteran’s Day, it gives us such joy to know we can make a difference in the lives of those who so unselfishly sacrificed for all of us.”
“This is such a meaningful donation to be able to support the two dogs that will in turn be able to support our veteran heroes,” said Mike Kitchens, volunteer chair for Smoky Mountain Service Dogs. “We are immensely grateful for all the Weigel’s customers who so gracious gave to make this possible.”