Sign In

Shelter Dogs And Military Veterans

July 31, 2020

“Train a Dog Save a Warrior” (TADSAW) is a program to help military veterans dealing with mental and physical issues after missions. The non-profit matches veterans with shelter dogs who can then be trained as service dogs.

“22 soldiers or veterans commit suicide daily,” said Jerry Eastman, a dog trainer for TADSAW.

Jerry Eastman served 30 years in the U.S. military. Last October he was paired with his dog, Jack, through the “Train a Dog, Save a Warrior” program.

“It takes a veteran who has had a mental or medical issue and puts them with a rescue dog to help them both come back into society,” explained Eastman.

The program was started by Bart Sherwood in San Antonio, TX.

Eastman became a dog trainer for TADSAW after finding out the nearest trainers were in Brownwood and Abilene. He helps area veterans find a “battle buddy” and mentors them through training to make them a service dog.

The service is free of charge for military veterans. The non-profit provides the service dog, which comes from Concho Valley PAWS. Eastman gets to know the veteran, then finds a dog that would suit that veteran’s needs.

After the dogs learn basic commands like ‘sit,’ ‘down,’ and ‘stay,’ Eastman helps the veterans train the dogs to be out in public, go to stores, interact with other dogs, and serve the veterans’ needs.

“This way, the veteran decides ‘this is part of me.’ I’m not just training the dog and giving it to them,” continued Eastman.

According to Eastman, the dogs can help veterans cope after returning from missions.

“Take my dog, for example. He’ll jump onto my lap and start licking me, telling me ‘come back, come back to where you belong.’ It takes me from where I’ve been and brings me back to reality,” added Eastman.

So far Eastman has helped 5 veterans find their companions… and he’s hoping to help more.

“We’ve rescued both the veteran and dog when we pair them up,” said Eastman

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