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What’s Next for Scout the Service Dog?

From shelter pup to a potentially lifesaving emotional support service dog, Scout has come a long way in the past six months.

In early 2019, Scout became the first dog trained through the Erie Humane Society’s “Shelter to Service” program. His training was funded by an Erie Insurance grant from agents based in Erie, Pennsylvania. (Read more in this blog story about Scout’s beginning and background.)

Scout’s trainer, Sean Weese, says he knew he was special from day one.

“We knew he’d be the right dog to kick off this program,” Weese said. “He was calm, but not timid, and very social.”

Weese was right. He has worked with Scout, training for several months, to work toward his canine good citizenship test.

“We had to help Scout balance the right level of temperament between friendly and focused. Socialization is always the first step,” says Weese. “We made sure he had plenty of socialization but also taught him how to behave in elevators, cars and to follow the cues he would need to know as a service dog.”

Before a year old, Scout was already settling into his new home with his new owner, veteran Barry Walk from Erie County.

Because of his time in combat, Walk now copes with PTSD and has high anxiety in social environments. Scout’s specialized training helps him be a grounding presence in these situations. He will be trained to respond to the early cues of a potential panic attack, and he has already become a comforting presence to Barry when they are in large crowds and stressful situations.

In August 2019, Scout was officially presented to Barry at the Erie Humane Society’s Rock & Rescue Charity Concert in Erie, Pennsylvania.

You can watch the emotional “passing of the leash” and hear more from Scout’s trainer on his experience working with Scout, along with ERIE agents who are honored to be a part of this program.

Passing of the Leash

From shelter pup to a potentially lifesaving emotional support service dog, Scout has come a long way in the past six months. Scout is now settling into his new home with Erie County veteran, Barry Walk. Scout is the first dog to be certified through the Shelter to Service program at the Humane Society of Northwestern Pennsylvania.

Supporting Scout’s journey is just one way the Erie Insurance Giving Network demonstrates commitment to the communities where we work and live, and in areas that matter to our employees and agents.

Find out more about ERIE’s longstanding commitment to our community by visiting our Giving Network page or following #ERIEforgood on social media.

ERIE® insurance products and services are provided by one or more of the following insurers: Erie Insurance Exchange, Erie Insurance Company, Erie Insurance Property & Casualty Company, Flagship City Insurance Company and Erie Family Life Insurance Company (home offices: Erie, Pennsylvania) or Erie Insurance Company of New York (home office: Rochester, New York).  The companies within the Erie Insurance Group are not licensed to operate in all states. Refer to the company licensure and states of operation information.

The insurance products and rates, if applicable, described in this blog are in effect as of July 2022 and may be changed at any time. 

Insurance products are subject to terms, conditions and exclusions not described in this blog. The policy contains the specific details of the coverages, terms, conditions and exclusions. 

The insurance products and services described in this blog are not offered in all states.  ERIE life insurance and annuity products are not available in New York.  ERIE Medicare supplement products are not available in the District of Columbia or New York.  ERIE long term care products are not available in the District of Columbia and New York. 

Eligibility will be determined at the time of application based upon applicable underwriting guidelines and rules in effect at that time.

Your ERIE agent can offer you practical guidance and answer questions you may have before you buy.