Trump, Venture, and Valdez – Sent with LUV

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Trump, Venture, and Valdez – Sent with LUV

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Sent with LUV! @SouthwestAir sends three service dogs to graduate from training program in Orlando:

Multimedia from this Release

Team MSY help the pups get their boarding passes for their flight to Orlando!

Saying hello to the Captain before their flight.

Everyone is cozy and ready for takeoff!

Relaxing poolside before it’s back to work.

Proud graduate!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013 - 2:00pm

CAMPAIGN: Southwest LUVs Animals


Trump, Venture, and Valdez: Man’s Best Friends—Sent with LUV

During a recent conversation with a caller, I had the opportunity to talk about four of my favorite things during her inquiry: Southwest Airlines, dogs, SeaWorld, and VETERANS.  WOW!  What a great combination, which really made me want to go the extra mile for the special group she described.

The call was from Dianne Rathcke with the Dixon Correctional Institute in Louisiana, and after a couple of generic questions, she proceeded to tell me about a very special program, Canine Companions for Independence (CCI).  The program choses certain individuals, in this case offenders, to train service dogs for the disabled and/or handicapped.  Dianne told me about three of their dogs, Trump, Valdez, and Venture III, who were to graduate in May at a ceremony at SeaWorld in Orlando.  She simply asked if Southwest transported service dogs and what the cost would be.  I reviewed flight options for her, gave her details on the cost, and told her that I would make a few calls to see if there was anything extra we needed to assure we could assist in the transport of these special dogs.  Diane let me know that the two people who would be accompanying the dogs, veterans Colonel John C. Smith and Master Sergeant Keavin L. Tanner, were in charge of the training program at the prison.

In further conversation with Dianne, I learned that because the program operates solely on donations, they would be holding a fundraiser at the correctional facility to pay for the airline tickets.  I shared this with my Senior Representative Kim Seale who suggested we reach out to our Communication Department, which handles all special animal travel requests.  We all wanted to make this trip special, and after working with our Communication Department, I was able to get approval for Southwest Airlines to donate the travel for our two veterans, along with Trump, Valdez, and Venture!

When Dixon Correctional Institute found out that Southwest was providing their flights, the group was overjoyed.  I was especially happy that we were able to help because now they would be able to put the money they raised back into the program instead of paying for tickets.

On Friday, May 17, Colonel Smith, Master Sergeant Tanner, Trump, Venture, and Valdez embarked on their adventure to Orlando.  I have to give kudos to the Southwest Employees at MSY, who took such great care of our special group.  I don’t think it took long for our Customer Service Agents who helped get the dogs checked in to fall in love with them.

Trump, Venture, and Valdez were celebrated at their graduation at SeaWorld.  The service dogs will each soon be matched with their perfect human companion, and both lives will be forever changed.  Helping this special group was such a wonderful experience and will always be remembered by all who were involved—especially Trump, Valdez, and Venture.

Keywords: Social Impact & Volunteering | Southwest Airlines | Veterans | service dogs

CAMPAIGN: Southwest LUVs Animals