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Rush puppy to be revealed at New Year’s Eve game

This year, a red lab is becoming the newest member of the team and will be introduced at the...
This year, a red lab is becoming the newest member of the team and will be introduced at the Rush game Friday.(Nick Nelson)
Published: Dec. 30, 2021 at 6:51 PM CST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - The Rapid City Rush is getting this year’s ‘puppy project’ underway.

This year, a red lab is becoming the newest member of the team and will be introduced at the Rush game Friday.

The puppy doesn’t have a name yet and is being trained as a service dog for a South Dakota veteran.

Rush left wing Stephen Baylis and his fiancée Kelsey will be welcoming the pup into their home.

”We’re taking care of the puppy; he’s going to be a service dog,” Baylis said. “So, they need some people to help them out and we had the time so we figured while we were in town we would help and learn how to raise a puppy and see how it goes.”

The Rush dog for the 2019-2020 season was also a lab named, appropriately, Rush.

Veteran Tony Russell was paired with Rush at the end of that season, and from there he started a service to help veterans have access to service dogs.

”After receiving Rush, I was just so moved and saw the change that it had on my family and myself that we needed to find a way to give back to other veterans,” Russell said.

The organization is called South Dakota Service Dogs and provides the animals at no charge to veterans.

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