PAHRUMP (FOX5) -- The Engelstad Foundation has donated $180,000 dollars to 4E Kennels in Pahrump, which will use the money to train and donate eight service dogs to families who would otherwise not be able to afford them.
Fully-trained service dogs from 4E Kennels, which specialize in breeding golden-doodles, typically cost around $22,500 dollars.
Trisha Wilbourne is the lead administrator at Discovery Charter School-Hillpointe. 4E Kennels donated a golden-doodle named Marci to Wilbourne.
Marci helps students who are having difficulty learning or are being disruptive in class.
“We might say to a first grader, if you complete your work, if you are on task and you are following our school rules at the end of the day you get to visit Marci,” said Wilbourne.
The tactic appears to be working with students from 1st to 8th grade.
“When Marci comes everyone tends to just walk a little lighter, and it just puts things in perspective and it allows students to just relax, take a deep breath and get back to work,” said Wilbourne.
Before Marci, it was Annie who was making the rounds with students at Discovery Charter School.
Annie showed promise and students were quickly getting attached but that abruptly ended when tragedy struck Wilbourne’s family.
“My son was training for a triathlon, he hit the back of a parked car, broke his neck and became paralyzed from the chest down,” said Wilbourne.
Wilbourne realized her son needed Annie to overcome the challenges of his paralysis so she sent Annie back to training so she could become a wheelchair assist dog.
When 4E Kennels heard that Annie was heading to Colorado to be with Wilbourne’s son Mark, they donated Marci so Wilbourne could continue her work at Discovery Charter.
“Through our healing hearts program we donated a puppy to her and Norton Dog Training is training for free so that she will have that dog in her classroom again,” said Jeanette Forrey, owner of 4E Kennels.
With the $180,000 dollar she received, Forrey said she will donate 8 service dogs to families who would not otherwise be able to afford the helpful pups.
“We’re giving people their lives back,” Forrey said.
The dogs will train at Norton Dog Training which donated its training services so Wilbourne could get Marci at no charge.
The upcoming crop of service dogs will not be ready for another 2 years but 4E Kennels is already accepting applications.