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Students learn essentials of pet ownership

Fourth-grade students from Hendersonville Elementary School recently completed the Pet Responsibility Class offered by Community Partnership for Pets. The class included information about caring for pets, pet safety, vaccinations, spay/neuter and being a lifelong advocate for animals.

This six-week program concluded with an assembly featuring two events. One student from each fourth-grade class was selected as a winner of the essay and drawing contest depicting how to be a responsible pet owner. The winners were Thomas Elley, John David Lamond and Luc Benjamin.

Guest speaker at the assembly was Johanna Harwood, who was joined by her daughter, Kelly Drake, and her dog, Guzzie. Johanna enlisted in the Army after the attack on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. After her return from Iraq, Johanna suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.
With the help of the VA Hospital, Johanna was connected with the nonprofit organization Pets for Patriots. Founded in 2009, the organization works with shelters across the United States to place the most overlooked pets—adult and special needs dogs and cats and large dogs—with veterans who need the unconditional love of a companion pet.
Johanna was matched with Guzzie, a three-year-old Weimaraner who now never leaves her side. Johanna told the students that Guzzie has given her back her life. Today, Johanna is attending school and working toward her master's degree.

Community Partnership for Pets also recognized Emily Hoover, a student in the Pet Responsibility Class who created handmade bracelets and sold them with the proceeds going to spay/neuter programs of Community Partnership for Pets.

For more information about Community Partnership for Pets or to donate go to www.communitypartnershipforpets, or call 828 693 5172. To learn more about Pets for Patriots, go to