MEMPHIS, Tenn. — September marks "National Service Dog Month," and some Mississippians have painted a picture to demonstrate how these animals help veterans across the country.
As service dogs can cost up to $30,000 for training, national paint studio franchise "Painting with a Twist" offered each of their locations to take part in a fundraiser. Olive Branch location owner Samantha West jumped at the chance to spread awareness through art.
"A dog can sense, you know, when you're having a hard day, and I know veterans have a lot of hard days," West said.
West said she thought the event went well with a good turn out and described it as a "heartwarming" event.
"I saw a lot of smiles—we had a couple of laughs," she said. "We raised about $200, which doesn't seem like a lot, but this was a nationwide event, so, together I'm really excited to hear the numbers to see how much, in a whole, we will be able to donate."
West said she wanted everybody to leave the event happy, and she thinks they did.
"I enjoy the people and I do get to give back, and now I have a platform I can give back with," West said. "That's really important to me."
For West, both the individual and the greater community are changed by such a fundraiser.
"To me it makes a difference in yourself and an impact on the community as well," West said.