K9’s for Warriors is an organization that was started by Shari Duval, wife of PGA golfer Bobby Duval. Their son suffers from PTSD which was immensely improved when he was matched with a service dog. This is what inspired Shari to start K9s for Warriors and to help others who are in a similar situation as her own son.
K9s for Warriors rescues dogs from animal shelters and takes them back to their facility in Florida. The dogs are then paired with a veteran who is suffering from PTSD, taking both the dog’s skills and the veteran’s special needs into consideration for the match. The duo spend three weeks at the facility where they bunk together, feed, and train according to a specific program. They graduate the program together after the 3 weeks, and return home to begin their lives together.
We absolutely love the work that K9’s for Warriors is doing, they’re saving two lives at once! Rescuing both a shelter dog, and giving a veteran with PTSD an outlet. True definition of a win-win situation.
The service dogs are trained and can perform a variety of tasks that can help to alleviate the veterans’ symptoms of PTSD. This can help a veteran gain the ability to return to civilian life and get their independence back. The service dog may lick, paw, or present a toy to the warrior during a PTSD episode in order to help alleviate the severity. They may also body block for their veteran, remind them to take medication, safety check a room/home, or awaken them during a nightmare.