SAN ANTONIO – A San Antonio man wants to help a survivor of the Uvalde school shooting by providing the victim with a service dog.
If things go as planned, Eric Andrade will send the dog, Stinky, to help a family in Uvalde heal from the tragedy.
Andrade is a professional canine handler at 3DK9 Detection Services in San Antonio. He has been fostering Stinky and helping find a home for him.
“He was originally a dog that somebody said was too aggressive to keep in their apartment,” Andrade said. “They (said they) couldn’t keep him in a cage because he was breaking out. We went ahead and evaluated the dog to see if he would bite.”
According to Andrade, it was determined Stinky was not aggressive, had no toy drive and was slightly food driven.
“He would find his food, but he wouldn’t eat it,” Andrade said. “He mainly just wanted praise (and) wanted to be with somebody. So, we figured he would be a really good companion dog. We offered the dog on Nextdoor and Facebook for free, along with three basic obedience lessons, and nobody wanted the dog.”
Andrade didn’t give up. He called a service dog trainer with the nonprofit A Doggie 4 You based out of Bandera.
“He came down, he evaluated the dog and he said, ‘this is a perfect dog for a family in Uvalde’. So as of now, Stinky is a candidate for service work,” Andrade said.
It will be in the coming weeks that Stinky starts training as a service animal with the goal to be assigned with a family in Uvalde affected by the school shooting.
“A dog as needy as him is going to be perfect for a family that needs that attention. There is a lot of science that goes into it, but that is because of his drive for praise rather than food or toys,” Andrade said.
Until the nonprofit has kennel space, the focus for Stinky will be ensuring he is house broken and can properly socialize.
“From there, he’s going to be going through a much more stringent obedience training course. He has to be certified under Canine Good Citizen and Community Good Citizen certifications,” Andrade said. “This is a perfect dog for a family that is going through (a hard time), but needs that attention, that needs that comfort, that needs a real life teddy bear, so to speak.”
For more information on A Doggie 4 You, click here.