The fourth grade students at The O’Neal School are required to complete a service learning project. This year the students decided to sponsor two puppies for Continuing the Mission. Their goal was to collect the supplies needed to train the puppies. On Wednesday, they got to meet those puppies, Cooper and Willow.

Continuing the Mission is a non-profit based organization in Aberdeen whose goal is to improve the lives of Veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome by providing them with uniquely trained canine partners. They provide fully trained assistance dogs at no cost to the Veteran. They operate entirely on donations. They offer three specialty trained types of dogs: assistance or service dog, therapy dog, and emotional support animal.


Suzy Lutz, with Cooper & Willow, putting on a demonstration for the students

After Suzy Lutz, founder of Continuing the Mission, brought Maya, a service dog in training, to O’Neal during the Pet Responsibility Program, the fourth-graders knew right away what they wanted to do. They asked to sponsor the incoming puppies that Lutz would be training for Continuing the Mission.

With the help of Angela Zumwalt of the Moore County Citizens’ Pets Responsibility Committee (MCPRC), they obtained a list of the items needed for the puppies, and they went about collecting them.


Cooper, Continuing the Mission training puppy

The students first learned about Continuing the Mission during the Pet Responsibility Program they attended over several weeks earlier in the school year. The program is offered to 4th graders in Moore County Schools through MCPRC.

Each year, the program is given in a number of schools in Moore County and reached over 1,200 students annually. The MCPRC reports into the Moore County Sheriff’s Office and involves Animal Services Deputies in its education efforts.


O’Neal students with Christie Hartlove from MCPRC petting Bonnie

Their hard work came to fruition on Wednesday when they, not only presented Lutz with their generous donation of items, they got to meet Willow and Cooper, the two new puppies they would be sponsoring. Also present were Angela Zumwalt and her team from the MCPRC including Bonnie, their therapy dog. Without their program, none of this would have been possible.


Mrs. Ambersley, 4th grade O’Neal teacher, hugging Cooper

If you are interested in learning more about either organization or making a donation, their contact information is below.

Continuing the Mission.

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 217 

Aberdeen, NC 28315

[email protected]

Moore County Pet Responsibility Committee.

Please contact Angela Zumwalt

Phone: (910) 949-9953
Email: [email protected]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email