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Utah Nonprofit Unites Veteran And Service Dog In Touching First Encounter

Utah Nonprofit Unites Veteran And Service Dog In Touching First Encounter

In Salt Lake City, a former United States Marine Corps member has found a new companion thanks to a Utah nonprofit organization.

Adam Griffin dedicated 12 years of his life to the Marines, serving in two combat tours in the Middle East as a K-9 handler alongside explosive-sniffing dogs. When he retired in 2014, he felt a sense of loss as he no longer had a loyal canine partner by his side.

Feeling this void, Griffin reached out to Labs for Liberty, a nonprofit that pairs trained dogs with military veterans.

Recently, Griffin and his family traveled from Florida to Utah to meet Apollo for the first time. Excited about the prospect of their partnership, Griffin expressed his anticipation for the bond they would share.

After months of training under the guidance of Hailey O’Connell, a trainer at Labs for Liberty, Apollo finally met his new owner, forging an instant connection. O’Connell, though sad to see Apollo go, is thrilled to witness the positive impact the dog has on Griffin.

Within just a day of being together, Apollo demonstrated his attentiveness to Griffin, showing his potential to provide much-needed support. Griffin believes that Apollo will not only fill the void he felt but also help him navigate social situations that he finds challenging.


Grateful for Labs for Liberty’s support, Griffin acknowledges the organization’s commitment to helping veterans like himself reintegrate into civilian life. He emphasizes the importance of the ongoing care and assistance provided by Labs for Liberty even after a veteran receives a service dog.

Emma, who has a journalism education, enthusiastically writes articles for our dog blog. She combines her love for writing with her deep fondness for dogs to create engaging and informative content. Emma's work reflects her commitment to sharing heartwarming stories and valuable insights about our beloved canine companions.