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KC Mavericks fostering dog training to become service animal for veteran

Posted at 7:45 PM, Dec 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-07 23:36:01-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A new member of the Kansas City Mavericks is turning heads at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena and has already become a fan favorite.

Mave, a four-month-old Weimaraner puppy, joined the team as a foster dog a few weeks ago and has already made an impression.

“Coming into the rink on a typical morning, sometimes it’s cold, sometimes it’s freezing but you see this puppy full of life and joy. It’s awesome to see,” said Mavericks forward Mark Cooper. “I’m trying to teach her how to do a ‘paw’, but she’s learning.”

Mave will be with the team for the next few months before she begins training to eventually be a service dog for a veteran.

The team’s fostering of Mave is all part of a partnership with the Warriors’ Best Friend Foundation, which helps veterans dealing with severe PTSD and brain injuries.

Founder Joe Jeffers told 41 Action News that dogs like Mave can make a big impact on the lives of men and women who have served.

“Veterans with severe PTSD don’t go out in public at all. They’re very recluse,” he said. “(Mave) opens and gives them an opportunity to go out.”

Moving forward, Mave will be at occasional Mavericks games for fans to meet.

While it is great to have her with the team, Cooper said he knew Mave would be a big help to a veteran in the future.

“Having Mave be with a veteran is huge for them and I’m sure Mave will get attached to them very quickly,” he said. “They’ll be attached to.”