Bayer Provides Free Health Care to K9 For Warriors Service Dogs
Every year, the United States looses approximately 8,000 military heroes due to suicide, much of it due to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and/or traumatic brain injury (TBI). This, along with many other reasons, is why K9 for Warriors was first established. K9 For Warriors a nonprofit organization which trains shelter dogs and veterans to work together in order to increase the veteran’s quality of life.
Recently, Bayer has expanded its partnership with K9 for Warriors so that veterans and their dogs who have graduated from the program can access a new service dubbed “Operation K9 Care.” This program connects alumni with veterinary clinics and pet retailers so graduate dogs can receive free healthcare, goods, and services.
“These service dogs are life savers,” said Shari Duval, President and Founder of K9s For Warriors. “What these dogs can do for veterans is a miracle, and we thank Bayer for connecting us with the veterinary clinics and pet retailers that are helping to eliminate the expense of service dog ownership for our nation’s heroes.”
The clinics that have agreed to participate in Operation K9 Care will offer free pet comprehensive physical exams, vaccinations, feral exams, diagnostic testing and parasite education with Bayer, providing preventative medication to help protect dogs from fleas, ticks and mosquitoes.
Pet retail stores that participate in this program will grant an annual $1,000 gift card for the life of the military veteran’s service dog. This will help offset the cost of necessities such as dog food, leashes, grooming and other supplies – plus the occasional treat for being such a good dog!
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Since starting its program, K9 For Warriors has seen 207 warrior/canine teams graduate, and nearly 300 dogs in total have been cared for in K9 for Warriors kennels. This program is the only service dog organization for post-9/11 veterans that require on-site training for both dog and their handler. It offers 120 hours of hands-on training with dog trainers as well as housing, meals, veterinary care, training equipment, and peer-to-peer support at absolutely no cost to the veteran.
The benefits of this program are two-fold: the shelter dog has now found a home with a loving veteran who will care for them and the veteran now has a four-legged best friend who will increase their quality of life exponentially. What’s mote is the fact that the program reports a 100 percent success rate in suicide prevention for its graduates and a whopping 66 percent of graduated report a reduction in medications. This truly is a program where both pooch and veteran can come together in harmony and after some training, find a way where they both perfectly fit into each other’s lives like pieces of a puzzle.
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