There is a program in the area that pairs shelter dogs with veterans to help them deal with emotional and mobility challenges.

Speaking on the February 25 edition of the weekly local public affairs program, Southern Tier Close Up, Hounds Helping Heroes coordinator Amy Murphy talks about the program, what goes into selecting a shelter dog, training it and matching it with a veteran who needs help.

Murphy says the usual process involves the organization getting applications from veterans, going to shelters, evaluating personalities of dogs and selecting a specific canine for the applicant.  Murphy says, however, sometimes a dog just shines and is pulled and placed in a foster home for basic obedience training.

In one surprising revelation, Murphy says locally the veterans'  therapy dogs often are not recognized as service dogs like the Seeing Eye dogs and allowed access to businesses and public transportation.

Murphy says the group is always looking for financial support in caring for the dogs and foster homes are currently needed.

To learn more about Hounds Helping Heroes, visit houndshelpingheroes.org.

Southern Tier Close Up can be heard Saturdays at 12:10 p.m. on News Radio 1290 WNBF.