K9s for Warriors is making a difference that lasts a lifetime. K9s for Warriors is an organization dedicated to providing service dogs to U.S. service members. They provide these service dogs to the men and women of the military struggling with PTSD and other invisible wounds of war. This organization is making a difference in the lives of these men and women that lasts a lifetime.
Helping Our Heroes in Their Time of Need
K9s for Warriors is making a difference in the lives of veterans and their families. The invisible scars of war impact all who are near the veteran that is suffering. Every aspect of a veteran’s life can be affected and at times this can be very overwhelming. K9s for Warriors is providing America’s veterans with the tools they need to survive after the war.
K9s for Warriors started with the hopes and dreams of a mother looking for a way to help her son. Shari Duval founded the non-profit organization K9s for Warriors in 2010 after her own son returned from Iraq suffering from PTSD.
Eighteen years later, her dream has become a beckon of hope for many who thought there was no hope of living a normal life. To many veterans and their families, Ms. Duval is the hero.
How K9s for Warriors is Helping Those Who Have Sacrificed so much for Others
Like most organizations of this nature, K9s for Warriors is nonprofit. Which means they do not receive government funding or assistance. To date, K9s for Warriors has 44 staff members and approximately 500 volunteers. The organization operates solely on the generosity of donations and volunteers.
K9s For Warriors trains and evaluates rescued dogs before providing them to veterans as service dogs at no charge. The organization accommodates veterans during a three-week live-in program to facilitate bonding with a trained dog. After which the veterans are sent home along with their service dog. However, K9s for Warriors support doesn’t end when warriors return home with their service dog. They also have a program called the Reinforcement Fund. The Reinforcement Fund will cover the cost of emergency veterinary care when a warrior is not financially able to do so.
K9s for Warriors also allow for veterans to return for refresher courses and mentoring of other veterans in the program. As of December 2017, K9s for warriors has provided service dogs to 386 combat veterans and have rescued 830 dogs. 95% of the dogs used are rescue dogs and the other 5% are donations from breeders or owners who surrender their dogs.
How You Can Help Those Who Help Others
There are plenty of ways for you to get involved and stay involved with the efforts of K9s for Warriors. They can use any and all help in whatever form it takes. This organizations backbone is the women and men who put forth the effort and give of their time and money.
Whether you participate in a community event or start one yourself, the effort and time will be appreciated. They also offer the opportunity for volunteers to participate in raising puppies, who are future service dogs. They also have a foster home for service dogs program as well. Both of these worthy causes help prepare future service dogs for acclimation into the program.
K9s for Warriors also works closely with dog shelters in an on-going effort to save as many dogs as possible. This is a double effort in the fact that the dogs they save also save veterans.
This is most evident by the following testimonial from one of the veterans that completed the program. “The love and acceptance you get once you walk through the doors from the organization is reason alone to come to K9s For Warriors. When you get your dog, the bonding process begins immediately and that’s when the magic happens. Faith, a word that lost its meaning to me long ago, now walks by my side everywhere I go. My tomorrows don’t look so dark anymore and thinking about my future doesn’t turn my stomach into knots. Thanks to this amazing program I can begin to give back to my community and lead from the front as I was taught in my many years of military service.”-Christian & Faith, March 2016.