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Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC adopts service dog in-training


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- On Wednesday afternoon the Switchbacks got to meet their new teammate, but while he loves to play, he won't be playing professionally anytime soon.

Striker is an 11-week-old golden labrador and a service dog in training. Striker is with Canine Companions. The non-profit provides service dogs for kids, adults, and veterans at no cost.

"There’s about 65 different disabilities that these dogs help with," said Nick Kemp, Striker's puppy raiser.

For the next year and a half, he'll live with a volunteer puppy raiser in Colorado to learn basic commands and how to to do things like go to the grocery store or a soccer game.

"Really the most important thing about the job is to expose him to a lot of different experiences so he’s a confident dog," said Kemp.

The Switchbacks say it's the perfect community campaign. It's also sponsored by the Lazy Dog restaurant.

"It’s going to be great training for the puppy as well to be part of a large 8,000 seat stadium where he can get trained while also engaging with our fans," said Jon Taylor, the executive experience associate for the Switchbacks.

Taylor says it also provided a great opportunity to support a good cause.

"It’s a great opportunity to be a part of the great things they do in this community for military families, anyone in need of a trained puppy," said Taylor.

Switchbacks fans also got to name Striker though a social media poll. They won't be able to get to meet him until this Fall.

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Jessica Gruenling


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