Sign In

K9s For Warriors

July 22, 2020

A Ponte Vedra Army veteran who recently graduated from the K9s For Warriors training program with his new service dog, Chris, is looking forward to taking his son to a theme park.

Gabriel P., who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder from his military service, said he hasn’t been able to go to a theme park since moving to Florida because of his fear of crowds and public places.

He said that’s why he applied to K9s For Warriors.

“I believe having a service dog would calm my fears of going out in public, and instead of thinking about what could go wrong, I would be thinking about my service dog,” Gabriel said. “With my service dog by my side, it is my goal to take my son to a theme park someday.”

K9s For Warrior paired Gabriel with Chris, who had already completed formal service canine training.

Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the nonprofit’s training program has been amended to comply with CDC guidelines, implementing new sanitizing and PPE protocols for all staff and warriors.

Along with the other members of their class, Gabriel and Chris trained in public every day wearing PPE, received instruction on matters of service dog access, dog health care and more, and established a bond that would facilitate Gabriel’s healing from military-related trauma, the charity explained.

“The rate of veteran suicide in our country is unacceptable,” said Rory Diamond, K9s For Warriors CEO. “These are the people who volunteered their lives so that Americans can enjoy their everyday independence. But PTSD steals their independence, and worst of all, suicide steals their lives. K9s For Warriors is here to give both back to them through a new, loyal battle buddy – a service dog.”

K9s For Warriors is a national nonprofit that procures eligible shelter dogs and trains them to be service dogs to mitigate symptoms of PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injury, and/or Military Sexual Trauma for service members and veterans. It operates from two facilities in North Florida that procure and train the canines, pair them with an incoming veteran, then train the veteran and canine pair together. After three weeks with his or her new service dog, the veteran has learned how to reintegrate into society and, most importantly, reduce the potential for suicide.

Register Your Dog

  • Most Recent News

    Former Victoria man’s diabetic alert dog helps him get back to life

    When Luke Hengen’s diabetes worsened in his early twenties, it stripped him of the outdoor activities where the country kid felt at home. Countless wilderness adventures and years of hard-fought football games took a toll on his body, to the point where he could no longer sense when his blood sugar was too high or […]

    Read more

    Students Get Therapy Dog

    When middle school students return to class on Jan. 11, they’ll find a new face at the door: Daisy. Daisy is a therapy dog and the personal pet of Rob Kreger, principal of the Rock L. Butler Middle School. The five-year-old golden retriever is not a school pet or mascot, but rather a working dog […]

    Read more

    Therapy Dogtor

    Last March, Caroline Benzel, a third-year medical student, began to notice the stress and discomfort her nurse friends were feeling from the pressures of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. “[Personal protective equipment] can be really rough on the skin,” Benzel, 31, tells PEOPLE. Benzel and her 3-year-old Rottweiler, Loki (who’s also a therapy dog) hatched a […]

    Read more

    Therapy Dog Pups

    When Stanley the miniature fox terrier’s owner passed away, the little dog started a ‘paw-some’ new role – bringing puppy love to some of the Gold Coast’s oldest residents. After Carinity Cedarbrook Diversional Therapist Julianne Staff adopted Stanley, he began visiting the aged care community at Mudgeeraba as a therapy dog. Therapy dogs help to […]

    Read more

    Puppy Cams

    A nonprofit is providing an unusual form of therapy for those on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic – puppy cams! “You spend five minutes with a puppy and try not to smile,” said registered nurse Robin Lingg Lagrone. Lingg Lagrone says watching little furballs wag their tails and prance on their paws helps […]

    Read more

    Pet Committee

    When Moore County’s school doors were abruptly closed earlier in 2020, two- and four-legged volunteers from the Moore County Citizens’ Pet Responsibility Committee (PRC) were in their 12th year of presenting a six-session Pet Responsibility Education Program for fourth-graders. The PRC quickly shifted gears and placed its program materials online as part of a home […]

    Read more