PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (WHTM) – The Philadelphia Phillies added a new member to the team yesterday in the form of a service pup-in-training.

Major was welcomed to the club’s off-field roster at Citizen Bank Park thanks to the Phillies partnering with Team Foster and Warrior Canine Connection.

The 10-week-old puppy was named after former Phillies’ coach, scout, and goodwill ambassador Maje McDonnell.

Major’s mission is to train until he’s a specialized service dog. Once fully trained, Major will be placed with a veteran who has a phycological or physical disability.

The new service pup was made possible by Team Foster and the Warrior Canine Connection including two grants, a Phillies Charities, Inc. grant and a MLB 2023 Military Community grant.

“Phillies Charities, Inc. is proud to support the caring and training of Major as he works his way up the ranks from service pup to service dog,” said Phillies Director of Community and Charity Events Michele DeVicaris. “Thanks to Team Foster and Warrior Canine Connection, we know that Major is destined to bring joy, comfort and support to a very deserving veteran.”

Major will receive his training through the Warrior Canine Connection and spend two years with the non-profit organization that breeds, trains, and places highly-skilled service dogs with members and veterans with both visible and invisible wounds.

The service pup will go through a series of military ranks during the two years of training as he masters commands to support a veteran.

Major will make guest appearances at Phillies games while participating in military-themed and community events including the annual Salute to Veterans at Citizens Bank Park. Major will also meet fans during those times and you can follow his progress on the Phillies’ social media accounts.

Upon completion of Major’s training, the Warrior Canine Connection, with the help of Team Foster, will place Major with a wounded veteran.

“Having the Phillies support Team Foster is an invaluable asset in the fight for our veterans,” said Team Foster Founder and Executive Director Nick Liermann. “We are incredibly excited to showcase this service dog in training and share the journey of these life-saving canines with the Phillies community.” 

“We are so honored and grateful to be working with the Phillies and Team Foster, which both have a history of providing unwavering support for our nation’s veterans, on this exciting, new puppy project,” said Warrior Canine Connection Founder and Executive Director Rick Yount. “The vital support of both organizations is making Major’s training possible, while at the same time, honoring the pup’s veteran namesake in such a meaningful way.”