Puppies for Patriots
It is proven that the support of a service or emotional support dog, helps veterans with the day to day challenge of both mental and physical conditions. However these specifically trained animals come with a very high price tag, due to the effort that goes into adapting and enhancing their unique skill set. We are working with various organizations to establish partnerships with the goal of increasing veteran accessibility to these animals. One way that we are helping veterans gain access to a service or emotional support dog is by assuming the responsibility for a portion of the associated cost whenever possible.
This program provides financial support to pair veterans and military personnel with a service or emotional support dog. We feel that by removing the financial barrier, more veterans will be able to receive the compassionate care that these dogs provide.
Service Dogs assist people with disabilities other than vision or hearing impairment. With special training these dogs can help mitigate many different types of disabilities. They can be trained to work with people who use power or manual wheelchairs, have balance issues, have various types of autism, need seizure alert or response, need to be alerted to other medical issues like low blood sugar, or have psychiatric disabilities. These specially trained dogs can help by retrieving objects that are out of their person’s reach, opening and closing doors, turning light switches off and on, barking to indicate that help is needed, finding another person and leading the person to the handler, assisting ambulatory persons to walk by providing balance and counterbalance, providing deep pressure, and many other individual tasks as needed by a person with a disability.
In February 2018, we decided to start training services dogs to be paired with the growing number of veterans on our waitlist. In May, 2019 the Puppies for Patriots program was suspended, the Board of Directors will determine the program’s continuation or permanent cancellation with in the next few months.
In July 2019 the new President and Executive Director, Spencer M Dayton, has revived the Puppies for Patriots program and will be revamping our efforts to better provide service and support dogs for our veterans.