A nice story about rescuing shelter dogs and training them to become service companions dogs for returning soldiers needing that help, companionship and love that can only come from our best friend.
BATTLE GROUND, WA, May 22, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ — The incredible effort to rescue, adopt and train shelter dogs to become service companions for returning US soldiers is getting more attention and creating a waiting list for the group that started the program.
Northwest Battle Buddies came about in 2012 when a former army MP needed to have his beloved Labrador trained to be his Certified Service Dog before he could move into veteran housing. A local dog trainer took on the task at no charge, as a way to give back to this veteran who served. After months of training separately, man & dog were reunited & trained to be a team, just like battle buddies in war. Since then, trainer, Shannon Walker, has worked with and given away dozens more service dogs to qualified veterans.
Research shows that canine companionship helps soldiers cope with the unseen wounds of war, post-traumatic stress. Most of the groups dogs come from shelters and rescue organizations. Some dogs are donated from breeders. It costs about $13,000 to take one dog through the program. The breakdown includes months of training, meals, veterinary & boarding expenses and equipment. Founder of Northwest Battle Buddies Shannon Walker says Our expenses are great. The need for specially trained dogs is much greater.
Northwest Battle Buddies is launching a 60-day campaign to raise $200,000 to train and gift 15 dogs to 15 more US service men & women. Walker says, For God…for family…for country–the reasons are their own. They laid their lives on the line, not knowing the outcome, to serve a cause greater than them. Now they are home facing more battles–private ones. Perhaps now they fight the most difficult battles of all, because they are back in the society they pledged to serve–but everything has changed, because they have been changed.
The fundraising campaign launches Friday 5/23/14, the beginning of the Memorial Day weekend and runs thru 7/31 on the crowd funding website indiegogo.com. Northwest Battle Buddies will post daily updates and new information so people can check in, get more familiar with the organization and watch the campaigns progress.
Northwest Battle Buddies is a non-profit 501(c) (3) organization dedicated to our military men and women who have given of themselves in battle. It provides our returning military men and women with trained service dogs who will assist and support them through their daily lives.