Professional Canine Services gives dogs, veterans a helping hand
Many people love dogs, but Wareham resident Charles Young turned that love into his life’s work.
After retiring from a 20-year career as a K-9 officer and dog trainer with the Barnstable County Sheriff’s Department, Young took his decades of experience and opened Professional Canine Services in Middleboro.
This family-run business provides behavioral and specialty training for dogs.
Young’s services run the gamut from training police dogs to sniff out drugs to working with dogs who are dealing with aggression and anxiety issues.
Dogs raised during Covid-19 have made up a good portion of his recent work, explained Young.
“All these people have these dogs, and they haven't been exposed [to the world], and then all of a sudden, the world opens up again,” he said. “That's a hard thing to deal with.”
He also offers a 10-day boarding program that teaches dogs basic commands. The program is followed by at-home training for clients because “location changes are very tough for animals,” he said
While much of Young’s work helps private citizens, he still finds the time to “give back” to the K-9 community that he worked with for most of his life.
“We all are very tight together,” said Young, referring to the bond between K-9 officers. “Even when we're out, we're still in.”
Professional Canine Services has trained police dogs across the South Coast and as far away as New York. Past clients include the Swampscott Police Department and the Bristol County Sheriff’s Department.
In addition to his work with police departments, Young is partnered with 22Mohawks, a non-profit organization that assists military veterans with everyday life when they return from service.
In this program, Young rescues dogs who are on the brink of euthanization and pairs them with veterans at no cost.
Normally, veterans can wait up to 10 years to be paired with a service dog, explained Young.
“Most of these veterans don't make it 10 years. They commit suicide — they can't handle it,” he said.
The only requirement is that veterans in the program have to attend in-person training sessions with their dogs to show Young that they are responsible pet owners and committed to the program.
"[The program gives] veterans the opportunity to physically get up in the morning, put their shoes on, work a dog and take care of something rather than just sit there with trauma," said Young. “This gives them a purpose in life.”