The NHL’s Washington Capitals are adding another four-legged friend to their roster, a sweet puppy named Biscuit.
The Washington D.C. hockey team announced that the 9-week-old chocolate Labrador will train and socialize with staff, players, and the public in preparation for becoming a service dog through America’s VetDogs.
The non-profit organization offers service dogs, free of charge, to veterans, active-duty service members, and first responders with disabilities to help provide enhanced mobility and renewed independence.
The news comes after the Capitals hosted another dog, Captain, in June through the same program. This summer, Captain completed training with the professional hockey team and was placed with retired U.S. Marine Corps Master Sgt. Mark Gwathmey.
“Following Captain’s successful journey and placement with retired Marine Corps veteran Mark Gwathmey, the Capitals organization is excited to once again partner with America’s VetDogs to begin Biscuit’s journey as an integral part of Capitals Canine programming,” said the Capitals’ vice president of marketing, Amanda Tischler, in a statement.
“America’s VetDogs has an incredible impact in the military and first-responder community, and we look forward to being a part of Biscuit’s formal training over the next season as he begins to learn how to best serve his future partner.”
Biscuit’s puppy socialization training program, which will last over a year, will take place in the Captials’ front office, at community events, practices, and select home games. He will then return to America’s VetDogs campus in Smithtown, New York, to begin his formal service dog training. After graduating from this specialized training, Biscuit will be paired with a veteran or first responder.
“We are thrilled to partner again with the Washington Capitals on co-raising ‘Biscuit’ to become a service dog for a veteran or first responder with disabilities,” John Miller, the president and CEO of America’s VetDogs, said in a release. “The ownership, team, staff, and fans have all embraced America’s VetDogs’ mission, and partnerships like these are vital to the growth and socialization of a future service dog. We saw a wonderful outcome with Captain being placed with his veteran and look forward to seeing Biscuit do the same.”
Other professional sports teams have adopted four-legged friends for a good cause over the years.
In 2019, the NFL welcomed a French Bulldog as the organization’s first-ever emotional support dog, who found a home with the San Francisco 49ers.