These are the conditions many military veterans suffer from. However, with the help of a good emotional support companion dog, these crippling symptoms can often be alleviated, and a veteran can again find joy and a purpose in life. Paws for Heroes is a non-profit operating in the Houston area that provides well-trained emotional support dogs to veterans. All services are provided at no charge to eligible veterans.
The life-changing benefits of a good emotional support companion dog are nothing short of amazing. Scientific studies show companion dogs promote better health, more sociability, and a greater sense of well-being. Paws for Heroes’ clients have reported their companion dogs made a tremendous improvement in their lives. The positive changes have helped prevent some veterans from getting divorced or losing their families. Some veterans have even reported that their Paws for Heroes dog saved them from self-harm.
Paws for Heroes was started in 2013 by three women in Texas after they realized there was no Houston area organization helping veterans find a well-trained companion dog. The non-profit is operated by volunteers with a mission to bring comfort and companionship to our veterans by rescuing shelter dogs that have been carefully evaluated, selected and professionally trained for the purpose of providing emotional support and companionship.
Dogs with the personality and temperament to be emotional support companions are selected and adopted by Paws for Heroes from local shelters and rescue groups. To qualify for the Paws for Heroes program, a dog must be friendly with all people and animals, self-confident and human-focused. The dogs cannot have negative or aggressive traits such as resource-guarding, thunderstorm anxiety, or a strong prey drive.
The dog’s training begins by living with a foster family for a month, where it learns “house manners.” After that, the dog spends at least another month at a board-and-train facility, where it receives positive-reinforcement basic training until reaching the Good Canine Citizen equivalent.
After training is completed, Paws for Heroes presents the dog to the veteran along with a crate, crate-liner, bed, leash, collar, bowls, toys and a starter kit of healthful food and preventive medication. At this point, veterans and their Paws for Heroes dogs start their new life together. Paws for Heroes maintains permanent contact with the veteran, and if there is a circumstance in which the veteran can no longer care for the dog, Paws for Heroes will find another home for the dog.
The expenses incurred for veterinarians, trainers, and other miscellaneous costs average around $10,000 for each veteran-and-dog match. Paws for Heroes is honored to provide these services because they love dogs and have profound respect for veterans.
4Knines is proud to shine a light on the work of Paws for Heroes, and we hope you will consider joining us to support their mission. Donating is easy via the Paws for Heroes website, and they are always in need of reliable volunteers.
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