Leash is passed to a veteran in need

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG)- When a service dog and new owner complete the training process, it’s sometimes called “passing of the leash.” And a leash was passed Friday afternoon at the Veterans Memorial Building in Cedar Rapids to a former service member in need.

A service dog named "Dayton" official got a new owner on Friday. It was a discharged Marine and the first female veteran to get a service dog from the group.

Deafinitely Dogs has worked with trainers to provide service animals for five years.

But the small ceremony for a Labrador named Dayton and his new owner Heather marked a first.

Heather is a discharged Marine and she’s also the first female veteran the group has paired with a service animal.

And Sherry Steine Ross, a co-owner, said it was worth celebrating.

“It’s great we were able to place our first female veteran. A lot of veterans don’t ask for help especially female veterans. But Heather came to us and we were able to help her and it’s an amazing feeling,” she said.

Service dogs like Dayton are trained to help owners overcome problems with anxiety or other issues.

Deafinitely dogs has placed 10 dogs so far with 36 more in training.