Meet Ace, PenFed's service dog in-training

Julia LeDoux
June 26, 2020 - 9:57 am


There’s a new puppy with a purpose at PenFed Credit Union.

In partnership with America’s VetDogs, Ace, a yellow Labrador Retriever, will be raised to assist a military veteran or first responder with a disability. 

Andrea McCarren, vice president and chief content officer for PenFed Digital will raise Ace alongside Maverick, a service dog she began raising last year. Ace also joins PenFed service dogs in training Mission and WestPoint who are being raised by PenFed employees.

“Ace is being raised with the purpose of providing enhanced mobility and renewed independence to veterans, active-duty service members, and first responders with disabilities, allowing them to once again live with pride and self-reliance,” said James Schenck, president and CEO of PenFed Credit Union and CEO of the PenFed Foundation. “We are committed to this program and making it work for our employees who are donating their time to raise these dogs for a very noble cause.”

McCarren will spend the next 18 months raising Ace as part of the PenFed family to prepare him for the next step of his training. He will learn additional tasks that are helpful to a person with a disability. PenFed is covering costs associated with the raising of Ace as he begins his journey to becoming a future service dug.

“As someone who is raising her fourth service dog, I have seen firsthand the powerful impact they have on the lives of wounded service members and first responders,” said McCarren. “The ability to help a remarkable organization like America’s VetDogs while on the job is one of the many things that makes PenFed special.”

America’s VetDogs specializes in placing highly-skilled service and guide dogs to individuals with physical injuries, PTSD, hearing and vision loss, and seizures. All services are provided by America’s VetDogs at no cost.

Four-legged Navy SEAL was more than just the dog who took down bin Laden

Suly, President George H.W. Bush’s former service dog,  who is currently working as part of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center’s Facility Dog Program, was raised, trained and placed by America’s VetDogs. Ace joins other high-profile VetDogs, including including the Washington Capitals’ Captain, Scout from Monumental Sports, Atlanta United’s Spike, WBAL’s Brooks and New York Islanders’ Tori and Radar.

Sully the service dog emBARKS on his new career at Walter Reed   

“America’s VetDogs is excited to partner with PenFed on this life-changing program to raise a future service dog for a veteran or first responder with disabilities,” said John Miller, president & CEO, America’s VetDogs.

You can follow Ace's journey on PendFed's social media accounts.


Reach Julia LeDoux at


Want to stay more connected to all the stories and resources Connecting Vets has to offer? Click here to sign up for our weekly newsletter.