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K9s For Warriors

Rating: 4.96 stars   109 reviews 3,794

Nonprofit Issues:

Animals, Veterans

Address:

114 Camp K9 Road Ponte Vedra FL 32081 USA

Mission:

K9s For Warriors is dedicated to providing service canines to our warriors suffering from Post-traumatic Stress Disability, traumatic brain injury and/or military sexual trauma as a result of military service post 9/11. Our goal is to empower them to return to civilian life with dignity and independence.

Results:

177 Warrior-Service K9 teams have graduated from K9s For Warriors. We have rescued over 200 dogs from shelters, and we have found loving, permanent homes for all dogs which did not make our program.

Target demographics:

K9s For Warriors is dedicated to providing service canines to our warriors suffering from Post-traumatic Stress Disability, traumatic brain injury and/or military sexual trauma as a result of military service post 9/11. Our goal is to empower them to return to civilian life with dignity and independence.

Direct beneficiaries per year:

In 2014 50 Warriors & 50 dogs rescued from shelters will receive new leashes on life as Warrior-Service K9 teams.

Geographic areas served:

Nationwide

Programs:

Three week in house program providing service dogs to our nations troops & veterans suffering from Post-traumatic Stress Disability, traumatic brain injury and/or military sexual trauma. (Dog are trained prior to the warriors' arrival)

2015 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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More Info

(904) 686-1956
www.K9sforwarriors.org

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Reviews for K9s For Warriors

Rating: 5 stars   Featured Review

19 people found this review helpful

I as a recipient of a wonderful K9 from K9s for Warriors. Having the training onsight at their facility was a major plus. It allowed me time to bond with my dog. They are very helpful and a great Org. Having Maverick has helped me not to think of war. I can channel; my thoughts on him. His needs and he keeps me occupied. With out K9s for Warriors. I wouldnt have this new lease on life. Thank you K9s and Mom. Matt, Brett, Danique, Ross, thank you all

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

No changes needed its an amazing place and org

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

Service dogs are becoming more and more popular as a way to help veterans cope with the intensity of PTSD. I was skeptical initially but after some loving coaxing by Shari Duval, the President of the organization, K9s for Warriors, I headed down to Ponte Vedra Beach in Florida to find out for myself.

I was paired with a service dog named Onyx and I can truly say that she was the impetus for change in my life. First of all, the experience itself was rewarding. I spent three weeks with four other women warriors who totally got me. We had a great time together and are still good friends to this day. The staff and volunteers at the organization showered us with love, appreciation, and respect. They validated our struggles with PTSD and helped us learn how to use a service dog to help us cope with day to day life.

Onyx pulled me out of a deep depression and has helped lower my anxiety significantly. The first year was a tough transition because I had ceased my veteran advocacy efforts and began to focus on me. Due to my military experience, I had a mindset that my life was dedicated to a mission. First it was the mission of the USAF, then it was the mission of changing laws so we could prevent military sexual assault. After Onyx, my mission became me. It was uncomfortable but necessary for one to truly heal.

I think the most important aspect of having a service dog was the day to day interaction. She kept me occupied because I now had to take care of her, she showered me with attention and love, she elicited feelings of joy and love that I hadn't felt in years, and lastly she made me feel safe. Because of her, I now had the strength to get back out there and become one with the world. She helped me take the next steps in healing because without her I was too fearful to even leave my home alone. I had grown to depend on my husband to accompany me and make me feel safer. That was hard on him and not good for me.

I have taken a lot of steps with Onyx. Although it is tough sometimes to have a service dog that draws the attention of a lot of people, the benefits far outweigh that aspect. Onyx gets me out of the house, helps me meet new people, and does exactly what she is supposed to do, make me feel safe while we are out and about. I can relax because she is scanning the room for me and making sure no one surprises me or gets too close. I've recognized that working on my social anxieties is much like working a muscle. You have to keep working on it to get stronger. It was much easier with a service dog.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2015

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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

I am a combat Veteran and diagnosed with PTSD after coming back from Afghanistan in July 2012. I couldn't leave my house and no interaction with other people, nightmares you name it I had it. My VA doctor (psychiatrist) told me about K9s for Warriors to get a service dog. I went home and goggled them and started my application. It is so worth all the paper work and in March of 2014 I entered their training program which is 3 1/2 weeks of in house training and bonding with your Service Dog. It is no cost for post 9-11 Veterans. I can't say enough about everyone there. Training program is top notch. I was treated like family and the bond you get with your service dog is amazing. When I came home with Karma she literally saved my life as I saved hers too. She was 1 day from being put down and K9s saw in her what a great service dog she would be. They were so right and Karma was just right for me. Slowly I began to leave the house with Karma. She changed my life and gave me such confidence and courage. Basically, the statement giving veterans a new lease on life is just what they did. I still stay in touch because once your in the family it's forever. I tell all my combat veteran brothers and sisters what a great organization they are. Please if anyone out there has PTSD and can't do it on they're own get in touch with K9s for warriors. I how have a new lease on life. Thank you Shari Duvall, Brent and Matt to mention a few trainers that made sure when I left for home with Karma that I was well prepared with all info and training for a successful future with my Service dog. One of their top priorities is to stop veterans committing suicide. Thank you K9's for a new life. Debra and Karma.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Nothing, they are very organized and very well trained in saving lives with PTSD and TBI injuries.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2015

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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

I am the spouse of a k9s graduate, and I can honestly say having my husband and Vulcan home has made a big difference. I don't have to go EVERYWHERE with him anymore and we both have our freedoms back. Going into public I now feel I have my 2 kids to care for and not my husband like I did before. Both my husband and I have and will continue to recommend this AMAZING organization. I am thankful for this great organization for giving me my family back.

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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

I was on a year waiting list for K9's and I had numerous interviews to get approved just to get on the list. It is an AWESOME program and my dog Vulcan has helped not only me, but my family as well seeing he brings the family closer together. I would put my life on the line for him. He is not just a dog, he is part of the family. He knows when his vest goes on its time to work. Whenever I've had problems with people or businesses since I've had him, K9's has been right by my side and helped every single time, and the volunteers to tremendous things to help you couldn't even imagine. If I won the lottery this non profit organization would get half of it or more. They have made my life worthwhile when I thought I was lost.

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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

Before K9sforwarriors I was lost. I couldn't eat, sleep, I was scared to leave the house. I didn't even recognize my own face. Then k9sforwarriors gave me a new life.

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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

I served in Iraq and Afghanistan while active duty. I came back and I was not the same man. After years of self medicating with alcohol I hit bottom and had to get help. K9's for Warriors was there for me when I needed them most. I have had my service dog for 2.5 years now. Because of this program, my life has completely changed. My family bond is stronger than ever, I am the leader of a local youth organization, and I am a full time student. I would have never thought about doing any of this before. The men and women of K9s for Warriors are lifesavers.

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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

I honestly couldn't see myself the way I am today without the help of K9s for warriors!!! I was hit by a explosion in Iraq in 2005 and suffer from ptsd and tbi and before I got into K9s for warriors obviously I wasn't as stable as I wanted to be but with the help of freedom my service dog and after 2 yrs I've done things I'd never imagine myself doing after being locked in my own house for years never going out into public and now I have my CDL and drive over the road part time and I coach little league baseball during the summer and most of all I have a stable relationship with my daughters and new wife!!! I also don't use freedom near as much as I use to and I'm conquering so many things by myself!!! K9s for warriors also has a 100% success rate for vets that haven't committed suicide and that itself is a huge victory!!! Thanks to mom and the team at K9s for warriors for my new life!!!

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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

As a graduate from this program, I recommend it to future participants. To begin the process for enrollment into this program:
-I had to do an application
- have at least three recommendations (from doctors/coworkers/people who have known you for a long time)
- phone interview (I had two)
- in person interview
- stay for three and one half weeks in the program under supervision while they train the dog to partner with you, observe you and how you react with and without your companion, and take the two of you to various local places/events to see how the partnership withstands stress related surroundings/triggers.

Once they thought the two of us bonded and was compatible they started working with us. If for any reason they thought one pet was not as compatible as they would like, they simply saved it for a different person in hopes to find a good grouping. (For those who don't know what I mean: some dogs bond better with some people, while others bond better with others. Everyone and every pet (companion) is different and has different personailties that they are compatible with). Although I have had many issues returning from my duty in them USMC including PTSD and TBI, I have gained confidence and learned better self control within large crowds, in which I would have anxiety and tend to have anger episodes or easily distressed within, since this program. The program was not made to cure any illnesses, but only to support healthy and beneficial reactions, support, and encouragement in which their program supplies as well as the companions they supply. Pets have been known to provide support and encouragement when some veterans/warriors feel that adapting to civilian life is impossible, they also are there when they (veterans/warriors) family or loved ones leave or simply do not know to comfort them after returning from war. Therefore, some of the stress is relieved within and outside of the home. (Again, it's impossible to believe every memory, illness, or issue will completely disappear..... I mean it has taken years to get where I'm at today and I still have a ways to go). I believe in this group, and have continued to help fellow warriors/veterans find their way here, and I cannot count how many of my guys who have went has called and said "You know man, you have helped me more than you could ever know by referring me to k9s." There is even a annual run in Albany Marine base, in Albany, GA to support local veterans/warriors to attend this program. It's a great place to learn, bond, and grow. I have and always will support, encourage, and spread the word about this organization.

-former graduate Torres (and "Ruey")

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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

I watched a show on K9's, seeing how the Capt was before he received his dog. I was overwhelmed. It was like I was watching a show on me. The training is at no cost to the vet, and the dog you receive is well trained. I have had Skinner little over 7 months. She wakes me from nightmares, keeps me company, and is helping me get my life back. K9's for Warriors is a wonderful organization.

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