Patriot PAWS is a non-profit dedicated to providing disabled veterans with service dogs and no cost to the veteran. Each service dog is specially trained by elite dog trainers to assist and protect veterans with life-altering injuries, PTSD, and other disabilities. Each dog takes approximately two years to train, costing the organization around $33,000 per pup. Now, The Texas Federation of Republican Women is raising funds to help!
Already these patriotic ladies have raised enough for one service dog, and are working on raising funds for a second. After exceeding their initial goal, TFRW has set a new goal to sponsor a total of three or four service dogs before their annual convention in October.
According to the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), “A service dog is a dog trained to do specific tasks for a person that he or she cannot do because of a disability. Service dogs can pick things up, guide a person with vision problems, or help someone who falls or loses balance easily. For example, a service dog can help a blind person walk down the street or get dangerous things out of the way when someone is having a seizure.”
As of August, 2016, the VA has begun providing select veterans with service dogs. However, dogs are only approved on a case-by-case basis to veterans suffering “chronic impairment” such as blindness or substantial mobility limitations. For the VA, there must be a scientifically proven, clinical justification for the service dog. Patriot PAWS has much less stringent criteria, stating that “any American veteran with a service connected disability can apply for a Patriot PAWS service dog.” Once an application is accepted, an interview is conducted and every attempt is made to find a compatible pup.
In a 2011 interview with TIME Magazine, veteran and author Luis Carlos Montalvan said of his golden retriever, Tuesday, “Tuesday keeps me in the moment. He is trained to monitor my breathing and heart rate, so he can nudge me back to reality before a situation starts. I was also prone to hyper-vigilance; now, I can put my hand on Tuesday and feel calmness returning to me mind. That may not sound like much, but for the two years before I adopted Tuesday, I was too paranoid and withdrawn to leave my apartment. I lived like a hermit, cut off even from my family. Tuesday has helped me reconnect with the world … Many veterans have serious physical problems, and their service dogs help them function. My friend, Mary, for instance, had both arms blown off above the elbow by an IED; her dog Remy performs many of her daily tasks. But for all veterans, I think, the companionship and unwavering support mean the most. So many veterans are isolated and withdrawn when they return. A dog is a way to reconnect, without fear of judgment or misunderstanding.”
By teaming up with Patriot PAWS, TFWR hopes to make the world a better place for veterans, one dog at a time.
If you’d like to contribute, you can make a tax-deductible donation to Patriot PAWS. Send a check made out to Patriot PAWS Service Dogs to …
Patriot PAWS Service Dogs
254 Ranch Trail, Rockwall, TX 75032
Please note “TFRW Dog” on the memo line.