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Wednesday, 07 October 2015 04:03

Paws for Patriots – 5 Organizations That Provide Service Dogs for Veterans

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It’s common knowledge that service dogs are incredibly helpful in the lives of those with physical disabilities.

Thankfully, our nation is beginning to recognize more every day that military veterans’ psychological needs are just as real and valid as other, more common physical disabilities we so often associate with service dogs.

You may have seen stories in recent news about veterans being kicked out or not allowed in restaurants with their service dogs because of the staff’s inability to recognize a “PTSD service dog” as a “real” service dog. With the news reporting on the matter more frequently, restaurants nationwide have begun to understand. A veteran with a PTSD service dog, and a blind man with his guide dog for example, should be welcomed equally in all places of business. Service dogs help not only those who cannot see, but also those who have seen too much.

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Service dogs can be trained for a variety of specific needs to assist their owner. Where the guide dog for the blind may be particularly more skilled in leading in a walk and being cautious for obstacles in its path, a service dog for a veteran with PTSD is more skilled in monitoring the veteran for debilitating panic attacks, flashbacks, or depression. There have been numerous accounts by veterans who share their stories of their service dogs, who helped them during times of need.

Sadly, twenty-two veterans commit suicide each day. Thousands of dogs are euthanized each day.

This practical solution of training dogs to be of service and paired with veterans in need is a wonderful life-saving concept that the following organizations have put to work.

Want to help? Donate or volunteer for these nonprofit organizations, they depend solely on your donations and assistance to keep costs minimal or free for the military veteran.

THE BATTLE BUDDY FOUNDATION

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The Battle Buddy Foundation’s mission is to ensure that veterans and their families receive programs and services that will help them acclimate back to family and civilian life. They accomplish this by:

· Providing highly trained psychiatric and mobility service dogs to veterans of all eras suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress, Traumatic Brain Injury, and physical limitations at no cost.
· Connecting veterans to employment and housing opportunities within our network of Veteran-focused organizations.
· Building a community of peer support for veterans and their families through programs, events, and social media.
· The Battle Buddy Foundation was founded by veterans to serve veterans. All our efforts are aimed at effecting long term and positive change in the lives of combat veterans and their families.

AMERICA’S VET DOGS

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America’s Vet Dogs serves the needs of disabled veterans from all eras who have honorably served our country. VetDogs provides guide dogs for individuals who are blind or have low vision; hearing dogs for those who have lost their hearing later in life; service dogs for those with other physical disabilities; facility dogs as part of the rehabilitation process in military and VA hospitals, and PTSD service dogs to help mitigate the effects of PTSD in an effort to provide the emotional and physical support needed. America’s Vet Dogs’ mission is to help those who have served our country honorably live with dignity and independence.

CANINES FOR VETERANS

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Known as the “triple win”, Canines for Veterans program has twice been awarded a Newman’s Own Award for program innovations supporting our military and their families, is approved by the US Department of Labor as an apprenticeship program and was named a Joining Forces Community Challenge finalist.​

Launched in 2008, the program began at the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune until August 2010 when it transferred to the Navy Consolidated Brig, Charleston, South Carolina. ​Canines for Service has been training service dogs for over 18 years. From making sure the service dogs are trained to meet ADA requirements in the tasks that they can do, to developing specialty skills to assist a specific client; it is about the person we serve.

PUPPY JAKE FOUNDATION

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The Puppy Jake Foundation is dedicated to help wounded military veterans with the assistance of well-bred and professionally trained service dogs. Veterans’ injuries may be invisible such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or physical mobility impairments. The Foundation advocates for increased awareness and accessibility for those accompanied by a service dog in everyday situations.

PAWS FOR PURPLE HEARTS

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Paws for Purple Hearts (PPH) is the first program of its kind to offer therapeutic intervention for veterans and active-duty military personnel by teaching those with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to train service dogs for their comrades with combat-related injuries. PPH is built upon the trusted and time-honored tradition of veterans helping veterans.

Founded in 2006 as a program of Bergin University of Canine Studies, the pilot PPH program at VA Palo Alto Health Care System, California, continues serving veterans today. PPH initiated and trained staff to operate canine therapeutic programs at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (Maryland), the National Intrepid Center of Excellence (Maryland), and Fort Belvoir (Virginia).

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Sarah Serrano

Sarah Serrano was born in Los Angeles California. She has lived in multiple states around the country and recently returned for good to the North Hollywood Arts District. She is a Marine Corps veteran currently working and training in the performing arts. Sarah’s passions include psychology, singing, acting, dancing, dogs (and pets of any kind), the military, fitness, writing, and small business. She is slowly but aggressively creating strong ties to her community, building rapport with local businesses and organizations by supporting and promoting what she believes in.

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11 comments

  • Comment Link  Dr.Stephanie P Johnson Sunday, 18 November 2018 02:25 posted by Dr.Stephanie P Johnson

    I am a retired Clinical Psychologist from the VA at the Palo Alto Veterans Health Care System, in Calif. I am very interested in your program, if it is a 401c to assist in forming a grant for my family foundation. This is a huge issue for me as I worked with PTSD Veterans from Vietnam-- to Iraq and Afghanastan.

    I have worked with Dr. Bergan in Santa Rosa .

    I can be contacted at 650 678-929 leave a message.

    Please get in touch with me. Best - Dr. Johnson

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  • Comment Link Freddie Saturday, 15 September 2018 19:09 posted by Freddie

    Is there any organizations near Riverside, California? Some info would be appreciated. Awsome article

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  • Comment Link Raymond Scott Wednesday, 18 July 2018 03:19 posted by Raymond Scott

    I am trying to find a location for training my Service dog Near my location in Norwalk Ca witch is in the Los Angeles County Are. Please help is you know of a place where I am located. Thanks.

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  • Comment Link Donna Tuesday, 08 May 2018 15:13 posted by Donna

    I am trying to locate a Paws for Patriots or similar organization in the San Francisco Bay Area to help a friend with PTSD. He needs a dog friend and maybe a volunteer position to give him something positive to look forward to.

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  • Comment Link Barbara Duey Saturday, 05 May 2018 12:14 posted by Barbara Duey

    I have a beautiful young (big dog) that would be a perfect companions for a veteran. This dog is smart, sweet and loves structure. We love him with all our hearts but our situation makes it impossible to keep him. We will never leave him in a shelter and I started thinking about veterans. This pup would be a wonderful companion. He needs lots of exercise. My boyfriends runs him along side his bike for 4-6 miles every day! He is sweet and cuddles and sleeps in our bedroom. If there is a need I would love to help and hope to find a perfect match. A perfect match that will be something wonderful for this beautiful dog and for the lucky vet/person that he lands with. Please let me know if you would like to meet my pup and if you think he could help a vet.

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  • Comment Link carol h m Saturday, 24 March 2018 07:32 posted by carol h m

    Each organization has different needs and requirements. If you are looking to have your dog trained as a service dog, contact the organizations directly for their requirements. They are in need of donations and volunteers. But contact them directly for their needs.

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  • Comment Link Erick Ramos Tuesday, 20 March 2018 13:40 posted by Erick Ramos

    Hello, my two dogs,( female German Shepard & Male Siberian Husky) recently had two litters. The first litter, they should be around 9 months, and the most recent litter, they are no more than a day old. These dogs are gorgeous, smart, with some having two tone color eyes, energetic, and in need of a deserving veteran. Is there anyone is the Los Angeles region I can get in contact to give these beautiful dogs away to veterans in need of a buddy.

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  • Comment Link Jose Luis Soto Monday, 12 March 2018 07:49 posted by Jose Luis Soto

    Good morning. My name is Jose and I am also a veteran. I am very interested in learning how to train these dogs to become service animals. I don't know how to get started in this field but I would like to offer my volunteer services at your facilities in exchange for a couple of hours of training me on how to teach a dog. I am 70% service connected and unemployed. So my availability to volunteer is very open. I have a natural love for dogs and therefore would find it easy to help out with all duties including The Not So desirable duties like cleaning up the dooties. Lol. ?

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  • Comment Link Elle Thursday, 20 July 2017 00:33 posted by Elle

    How can I train my dog to be a complex ptsd dog ... I am not a veteran of war but of abuse

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  • Comment Link Gina A Monday, 17 April 2017 02:27 posted by Gina A

    There are several charities mentioned in this piece. Please contact them directly. Thank you.

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