Hogan the Hero: A Success Story from the Saint Peter’s Puppy Club
Saint Peter’s is a proud host of the Canine Companions program on the University’s campus. The program partners student volunteers with service dogs in-training through the Saint Peter’s Puppy Club. Students involved in the program spend a year and a half training a puppy with the ultimate goal of having them placed as a service dog with an individual in need due to a range of disabilities including hearing loss, post-traumatic stress disorder, physical impairments and more.
Hogan was one of the Saint Peter’s service puppies in training and he quickly became a well-known staple on campus. For 18 months Carolina Ruiz ’20, Joseph Legaspi, D.M. and Samantha Lochner ’20 were responsible for raising and training Hogan to prepare him for his future responsibilities as a service dog. He almost seemed to rival the Peacock as a University mascot until he graduated from the training program in October 2020.
According to the magazine article:
Born and raised in Delaware, Jenkins is living his dream life despite the pandemic. He has a loving family. He loves his job as the community resource officer for the State of Delaware Developmental Disabilities Council, and last year, another dream came true when he was matched with Service Dog Hogan.
“I don’t think I could have gotten any luckier than to be matched with Hogan,” shares Jenkins. “He’s not only smart, but he’s patient. He knows it takes me time. We are doing as well as we can with the pandemic.”
As part of his daily responsibilities, Jenkins is in charge of social media and public relations outreach for the Delaware DDC, helping people with disabilities find programs and resources that are available to them. “I’m always fighting for the rights of all people, and I’m thankful to everyone at Canine Companions who strongly believes in what they are doing.”
Patricia Redden, Ph.D., emeritus professor, takes great pride in the success of the Saint Peter’s service dogs. Dr. Redden brought the program to Saint Peter’s in 2016 and has been a puppy raiser herself for many years.
“The work that the students put in with these pups is amazing considering all of the other activities and responsibilities they have to manage,” said Dr. Redden. “It is truly a full-time job, but seeing them graduate is wonderful. It takes about five minutes to fall in love with these puppies so letting them go is incredibly difficult, but it is worth it knowing the difference they will ultimately make in the world.”
The Hogan and Jenkins partnership is a true reflection of that and in Jenkins words, “Hogan is one of a kind.”
Members of the Saint Peter’s community who are interested in learning more about the training program can contact Dr. Redden. Learn more about Canine Companions for Independence on the organization’s website.