K9 For Warriors is a non-profit organization that trains veterans and service dogs. And now, these brave warriors can take advantage of free healthcare and pet products at select retailers.
Each year, the United States loses about 8,000 military heroes to suicide, many due to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and/or traumatic brain injury (TBI). This, along with many other reasons, is why K9 for Warriors was first established. K9 For Warriors is a non-profit organization that trains shelter dogs and veterans to work together to increase a veteran’s quality of life.
Recently, Bayer expanded its partnership with K9 Veterans so that veterans and their dogs who graduate from the program can have access to a new service dubbed Operation K9 Care. This program connects graduates with veterinary clinics and pet vendors so that graduating dogs can receive free health care, goods, and services.
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“These service dogs are life savers,” said Shari Duvall, President and Founder of K9s For Warriors. “What these dogs can do for veterans is miraculous, and we thank Bayer for connecting us with veterinary clinics and pet dealers that help eliminate the expense of ownership of service dogs for our country’s heroes.”
Clinics that have agreed to participate in the K9 Care process will provide comprehensive pet health exams, vaccinations, savage exams, diagnostic tests and parasite education with Bayer, and provide preventatives to help protect dogs from fleas, ticks and mosquitoes.
Pet stores that participate in this program will award an annual $1,000 gift card for the life of a Veteran’s Military Service Dog. This will help offset the cost of necessities such as dog food, leashes, grooming and other supplies – plus an occasional treat for being a good dog!
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Since the inception of its program, K9 For Warriors has seen the graduation of 207 warrior/dog teams, and nearly 300 K9 dogs have been fostered into Warriors homes. This program is the only service dog organization for post-9/11 veterans that requires on-site training for both the dog and its handler. It offers 120 hours of hands-on training with dog trainers plus lodging, meals, veterinary care, training equipment, and peer-to-peer support at absolutely no cost to the veteran.
The benefits of this program are twofold: the shelter dog has now found a home with a loving veteran who cares for him, and the veteran now has a four-legged best friend who will greatly increase their quality of life. What the program says is that the program reports 100 percent success in preventing suicide for its graduates and that 66 percent of graduates report a reduction in medication. This really is a program where both the dog and the veterans can be combined in unison and after some training, find a way where they both fit perfectly into each other’s lives like pieces of a puzzle.