Meet Spike: Atlanta United’s new service dog in training

Meet Spike: Atlanta United’s new service dog in training
Atlanta United announced Thursday a new member of the team: a 12-week-old Labrador retriever named Spike. (Atlanta United/Atlanta United)

ATLANTA — Atlanta United announced Thursday a new member of the team: a 12-week-old Labrador retriever.

Spike will be trained in the Atlanta area for the next 14 to 16 months with the purpose of becoming a service dog.

He will be trained in partnership with America’s VetDogs, a nonprofit organization based out of New York. They provide service dogs to veterans, active-duty service members and first responders with disabilities.

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Spike is the first service dog to represent a Major League Soccer club.

“One of the pillars of our club and a priority for the Blank Family of Businesses is giving back to the community,” Atlanta United President Darren Eales said. “It is always a privilege to be able to support our armed forces. This partnership allows us to be a part of a program that serves veterans while also educating our supporters and raising awareness about the incredible work of the America’s VetDogs organization. We are excited to welcome Spike into our family and can’t wait to introduce him to our fans.”

Fans can follow Spike’s journey on the team website and on his very own Twitter and Instagram pages.

Fans will have opportunities to interact with Spike at select Atlanta United matches and community events throughout the year, as exposure to a variety of environments is necessary during the detailed training process.