What is Paws for Patriots? This is an organization that trains service dogs for veterans that have difficulty integrating into society as they return home. The service dogs can help with post traumatic stress, blindness, any form of disability or just comfort to the veteran. Here’s a little background on this incredible project:
Since their founding in 1982, Southeastern Guide Dogs has been a proud supporter of American veterans. Over the past 26 years, their expertise in training guide dogs to work with people who have multiple disabilities has led many disabled veterans to seek their services.
In 2003 one of their Board members read about a young Marine who was blinded by a roadside bomb in Iraq. Upon
further investigation, they discovered that the Veterans Administration does not provide guide dogs to soldiers. This spearheaded an effort by their Board and school to bring awareness to top military leaders that we could serve these blinded soldiers.
General Tommy Franks was so impressed with Southeastern Guide Dogs’ Paws for Patriots program that he agreed to be a spokesperson and completed our Public Service Announcement at no charge to our school.
In addition to providing guide dogs to blinded soldiers, they have placed therapy dogs at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. and the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, MD to spread encouragement to soldiers during their grueling physical therapy as they learn to recover from their injuries. They have also placed Veteran Assitance Dogs with soldiers who can benefit from the unconditional love and scientifically proven therapeutic effects of one of our dogs.
Their certified instructors provide Paws for Patriots students and their new guide dogs with 26 days of individualized instruction at its Palmetto, Florida campus or in-home placements – and lifetime follow up and support.
Students (soldiers) spend approximately four weeks bonding and training with their new guide dog under the watchful eye of the certified instructors at a student to trainer ratio of 3 to 1. A bond of love, trust and devotion forms between the blind master and the dog as they become a team.
Paws For Patriots provide the guide dog, equipment, single-room lodging, all meals, outings, instruction and post-graduation support completely free of charge, thanks to the generosity of its important contributors.
The process of developing and serving a successful guide dog team takes an average of ten years (two years of training
and eight years of post-graduation services) and approximately $60,000. Paws For Patriots, like all programs at Southeastern Guide Dogs, receives no governmental funding. They rely solely on the generosity of people like you.
This is important: To fully train one of these dogs costs $60,000. Our Vets are worth that and so much more. They have put their lives on the line for you and me every single day. It is the least we can do for them. It’s easy to help. If all of us donate, together we can take care of our soldiers as they continue to take care of us. Florida REALTORS is supporting Paws For Patriots this year through major promotions and donations from Florida REALTORS members.
Think about this: If each one of you, as readers of Monday Mornings With Matey, donated just $10.00 each …we could sponsor one Paws For Pariots dog. How easy is that? How powerful is that?
Don’t wait…do it today…CLICK HERE