The Booker Willoughby Recognition Ceremony
The VA-MD Regional College of Veterinary Medicine’s Center for Animal Human Relationships (CENTAUR) will host the 2015 Booker Willoughby Recognition Ceremony on Friday, March 6, 2015 in conjunction with the 2014 Human-Animal Bond Symposium. In the past, the Booker Willoughby Service Dog of the Year award was given in recognition of individual service dogs nominated by their training organizations. The first award was presented to Booker Willoughby whose owner, Mrs. Carol Willoughby, established the St. Francis Service Dogs Foundation in Roanoke, Virginia. Booker was recognized as the 1988 Service Dog of the Year by the American Animal Hospital Association, the Delta Society (now Pet Partners), and Gaines Pet Food. In keeping with the spirit of selfless service exemplified by both Booker and the Willoughbys, the Booker Willoughby Recognition Ceremony will honor an exemplary organization that trains, utilizes and cares for service animals.
This year, CENTAUR is honored to recognize St. Francis Service Dogs in Roanoke, Virginia at the Booker Willoughby Recognition Ceremony. Saint Francis Service Dogs is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to assist children and adults with disabilities become more independent and self-sufficient through partnership with a professionally trained service dog. The organization is also committed to promoting the use and acceptance of service dogs through public and professional education, providing advocacy for service dog partners and supporting the growth of the service dog industry on a national level. Executive Director, Ms. Cabell Youell, will provide a heart-warming overview of the SFSD Program and accept the certificate of recognition.