Sertoma Centre, Animal Welfare League and Black Dog K-9 Collaborate for Dog Training Opportunity

dog training at Sertoma


Alsip, IL–(ENEWSPF)– They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, perhaps they never attended the new dog training program offered at Sertoma Centre, Inc. in Alsip, IL. Through the collaboration of the great folks at the Animal Welfare League of Chicago Ridge and Black Dog K-9 Performance, Sertoma Centre, is now able to offer an exciting new opportunity for individuals with disabilities. This hands-on dog training program was created for individuals who have a “heart for animals” and an interest in learning how to train dogs. This new skill may afford them an opportunity to volunteer or obtain employment in the community. Being instrumental in the successful training of the dogs, provides individuals the satisfaction of having made a positive contribution as well as the ability to train and care for pets. The series runs for five-weeks during the month of July. Classes are held every Thursday evening from 6:30 – 7:30 pm at the Sertoma Center facility located at 4343 West 123rd Street in Alsip, IL.

The training sessions are provided free to the individuals with disabilities. “We were able to accomplish this through the committed efforts of Linda Estrada, Director of the Animal Welfare League and Terri Sparks, Marketing & PR Manager for the organization, they made it happen” states Michele Arthur, Associate Director of Program Services at Sertoma Centre. Also part of the “make it happen” team is Marty Sullivan and his wife and business partner, Heide. They have been extremely dedicated to the success of the program.  Marty, owner of Black Dog K-9, and certified dog trainer has graciously donated his time, talents and energy to provide the training know-how for this program. He uses positive reinforcement. According to Marty; “Dogs are similar to people in that each one has a different personality and they all learn at a different pace.”

The socialization and basic obedience the dogs receive in the program increases their chances of being adopted. Three of the dogs that participated in the first training session and five from the second session have already been adopted. This experience has had an amazing impact on the trainers as they realize the positive effect their contribution made in the training process. The current series will finish on Thursday, July 29th; however there are plans to repeat the program in the near future.

The dogs have been provided by the Animal Welfare League. Prior to being integrated into the program, Crystal Ludington, Offsite Coordinator, monitors each dog to be sure that dog has the correct personality for training. On Thursday evenings, Victor Pirofalo, Kennel Attendant/Driver for Animal Welfare transports the dogs to the 123rd Street Sertoma facility. Mr. Pirofalo stays to assist with the class and then returns the dogs back to Chicago Ridge.

Animal Welfare, Black Dog K-9, Sertoma staff, consumers and their families have all made a commitment and are donating their time and resources to benefit individuals with disabilities and their canine friends.

If you have a pet in need of training contact: Marty Sullivan, Owner/Trainer of Black Dog K-9 Performance located at 11730 S. Lawndale, Alsip, IL 60803, by phone: 708-371-4926 and 708-305-1322, or email: [email protected]. Marty belongs to: Professional Member Association of Pet Dog Trainers and Association of Companion Animal Behavior Counselors

If you would like to adopt a pet please contact the Animal Welfare League located at 10305 Southwest Highway, Chicago Ridge, IL 60415. Phone: 708-636-8586 or visit their website

Sertoma Centre, Inc. is a nationally-accredited, not-for-profit agency that provides services to over 650 individuals with developmental, physical and emotional disabilities, and/or mental illness. If you are interested in more information, supporting this program, making a donation, volunteering, or to schedule a tour please contact Melanie Jones, Director of Advancement and Communications at Sertoma Centre, Inc., 4343 West 123rd Street, Alsip, IL 60803. Phone: 708-730-6206, email: [email protected] or visit the website: