Mayor Barlow proposes Service Dog Program for disabled Military Veterans
Mayor Barlow is proposing to the Oswego Common Council an agreement to fund a service dog program for disabled military veterans in the City of Oswego. The proposed agreement partners with the Oswego County Veteran’s Agency and Director Jamie Hamlin to provide dogs to military veteran’s with a documented need for service animals. The agreement between the city and county would allow the city to fund the purchase and training of a service animal, while the Oswego County Veterans Service Agency would identify local veterans and connect them to a trained service animal. A trained service animal costs approximately $2,400 and the city’s agreement allocates $10,000 to serve the need in Oswego. There are approximately 10,000 veterans in Oswego County.
“Partnering with the Oswego County Veteran’s Agency will allow the City of Oswego to offer a service that some of our military veterans who fought for our country absolutely need,” said Mayor Billy Barlow. “Service animals offer comfort and support for our disabled veterans suffering from traumatic brain injuries, PTSD, and many other service-related conditions. Our proposed program, supported by a very modest investment, will immediately and significantly improve the lives of veterans in our community who sacrificed so much for our country and deserve the most resources we can offer and the best of care,” Barlow said.
Chairman of the Oswego County Legislature, James Weatherup, said “I, along with the entire County Legislature, are keenly aware of the sacrifices made by our veterans everyday and are truly appreciative of the efforts of Mayor Barlow and the City of Oswego along with the Oswego County Veteran’s Agency to provide service animals to disabled veterans. It’s an investment that will provide nearly immediate quality of life improvements to one of our most important groups, American Veterans, who may be in a time of need”
Director Jamie Hamlin of the Oswego County Veteran’s Service Agency said, “Collaborating with Mayor Barlow on this pilot program to provide service dogs for our qualified veterans in need has been a great experience. He has not only been a supporter of veterans residing in the city of Oswego, but in the county as well. The cost of service dogs can be burdensome and veterans may not have the means but have the need. Service dogs can change the life of a veteran by assisting them in their day to day needs. The Oswego County Veterans Service Agency is looking forward to continuing our work together to further support the veterans within our community.”
Mayor Barlow will request permission to execute the proposed agreement and the $10,000 in funding during the Administrative Services Committee meeting on Monday, October 7th at 6:30pm at Oswego City Hall. The Oswego County Veteran’s Agency is located at 200 North Second Street, Fulton, New York.