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• Sarasota • Lakewood Ranch • Osprey •

Pets & Vets: Stella, From Shelter Dog to Service Dog

Stella: From Shelter Dog to Service Dog

For the last few months, we have quietly been working behind the scenes with Humane Society of Sarasota County on a program called Pets & Vets to benefit military veterans in our community.

Each individual is unique in the way that they process the experiences and traumas of military deployment. Some of the after effects of war are visible while many others are not.

Professional trainers Murisa Deighton and John Pfohler (HSSC) carefully evaluate each pet to determine who will best meet an individual’s needs. The program also provides post-match support, including veterinary care at HSSC’s animal clinic and free training classes. Pets & Vets mission is to provide an environment for veterans to connect with animals, and use their companion to connect with others. Murisa and John have successfully matched multiple veterans with animals who meet their needs.

We are especially proud of our trainer, Murisa, who has been working for the last few weeks on transforming Stella, an HSSC rescue dog, into a service dog for a local veteran. Throughout the course of regular obedience training, Stella showed exceptional focus and an aptitude for learning.

After a few weeks of intensive training, Stella stayed at Bayside Pet Resort in Sarasota for a few days to fine tune her skills before heading home. Stella has since gone home with her dad, and both couldn’t be happier to be together!

white german shepherd service dog


Joining people who need animals, with animals who need homes, has been such a rewarding experience for our team. We are so proud of Murisa for this incredible accomplishment! As this program continues, we hope to bring you news of many more happy stories as we continue to help Humane Society of Sarasota County find the best possible homes for their adoptable pets.


To learn more about the philanthropic work Bayside Pet Resort is doing, visit our philanthropy page.

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