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Hometown Hero Donates $35,000 to K9s For Warriors

Hometown Hero Donates $35,000 to K9s For Warriors

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Since day one, supporting U.S. veterans has been a core value at Hometown Hero. Over the years, we've had the honor and privilege to work with many great organizations, such as the Texas Veterans of Foreign WarsOperation Finally Home Heroic Hearts Project, and much more. This year, we donated $35,000 to K9s for Warriors, another life-changing nonprofit, to sponsor a pup named Delta to help a warrior in need.

So read below to learn about how service dogs help U.S. veterans, K9s For Warriors, and Delta's journey to becoming a companion of healing and recovery. 

What Are Service Dogs and How Do They Help Veterans?

adorable white labrador service dog

Dogs are more than our best friends. From guide dogs to hearing dogs and even allergy-detection dogs, there are many ways these four-legged companions improve the lives of people with disabilities and medical conditions. 

Service dogs tasked with helping someone living with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and/or a traumatic brain injury (TBI) can help their owner in numerous ways.

PTSD Service Dogs

  • 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

TBI Service Dogs

  • 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 
As you can tell, there are many ways that service dogs can vastly improve the life of a veteran with PTSD or a TBI. However, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), a cabinet-level executive branch department of the federal government that's charged with providing eligible U.S. military veterans with lifelong health care, does not pay for service dogs for veterans with PTSD. But thankfully, K9s For Warriors is there to provide veterans with the support they need. 

K9s For Warriors 

adorable german shepherd service dog

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.

Delta's Graduation

In October, Delta, the pup we sponsored, graduated from the K9's For Warriors training program. Watch the video below to see the graduation:

Compassion, Community, & Wellness

The true impact of K9s For Warriors is immeasurable, and we are so grateful to have sponsored Delta's training, just as we are so grateful for your support, which helped make this donation happen. Throughout our eight years in business, we've been privileged to work with many great organizations that do life-changing work for our veterans, and we're looking forward to what 2024 will bring.

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