Operation at Ease pairs shelter dogs with veterans for comfort

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A local non-profit organization is taking the lead in finding a comforting presence for veterans, and now first responders, in the Capital Region.

Operation at Ease was started by Joni Bonilla in 2015, and it is successfully pairing retired service members with shelter dogs and then leading them through a training program.

The program has been so successful that it now pairs twice as many dogs every year than Bonilla first imagined and the non-profit organization based in Rotterdam reaches a far greater standard of training than is required.

It has also reached a new level of local recognition in the last year, expanding its help to also include first responders.

Meet some of the people the program is helping by watching the video of Chris Onorato’s story.