Hometown Hero Donates $25,000 to K9s For Warriors
What Are Service Dogs and How Do They Help Veterans?
- Nudging or placing their head on a veteran's lap to interrupt anxiety or a flashback
- Laying on top of or leaning against a veteran to comfort anxiety
- Positioning their bodies in front of a veteran to create space
- Moving behind a veteran and letting them know if a person is approaching
- Initiating friendly approaches for the veteran
- Gently waking up a veteran from a nightmare
- Assisting with mobility, coordination, and balance
- Helping with tasks such as retrieving dropped items, opening doors, and turning on lights
- Alerting their owners to essential cues, such as the noise of a doorbell or their phone ringing
- Understanding basic commands for veterans with language difficulties
- Reminding veterans of crucial tasks such as taking medication, even retrieving it
K9s For Warriors
K9s For Warriors is dedicated to ending veteran suicide by providing veterans with PTSD, TBI, and/or military sexual trauma with service dogs in a lifelong program that comes at no cost to the veteran.
The organization was founded in 2011 by Shari Duval, who saw how her son Brett, a police bomb dog handler who served in Iraq, returned to his real self when he was with his dog. Since then, Shari dedicated her life to helping restore the lives of U.S. veterans. Shari passed away in 2021, but her mission lives on as strong as ever through the efforts of the amazing nonprofit she had started.
Today, the majority (68%) of four-legged graduates from K9s For Warriors are rescues, and to keep up with the demand for service dogs, they've expanded to offering service-bred dogs and dogs from their puppy program.
In 2017, Flagler College researched the impact that the service dogs from K9s For Warriors had on the lives of the veterans they serve, and the results were nothing short of outstanding:
- 92% of veterans in the program reported a reduction in medication
- 82% of veterans reported reduced suicidal ideation
In short, the work that K9's For Warriors changes and even saves lives. We are so grateful to be able to contribute to their mission of helping veterans, and if you are interested in donating to their cause, you can find more information on this page.
In October, Delta, the pup we sponsored, graduated from the K9's For Warriors training program. Watch the video below to see the graduation: