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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

K9 Partners for Patriots, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Human Service Organizations, Human Services

Mission: To give veterans and active military a second chance at life by honoring and empowering those with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Military Sexual Trauma through the experience of training and caring for their own service dog.

Results: To date, we've graduated over 180 Service Dog Teams and placed 107 dogs from shelters and rescues into loving homes with veterans. We currently have 277 active veterans in the K9 Partners for Patriots Service Dog Training Program.

Target demographics: WE’RE HELPING VETERANS WIN THE WAR AGAINST SUICIDE, DEPRESSION, AND ANXIETY. Service dogs are making a significant and life-changing difference in the lives of veterans and service members with post-traumatic stress (PTS), traumatic brain injury (TBI), and/or military sexual trauma (MST) who are struggling to re-enter civilian life.

Direct beneficiaries per year: Veterans with post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury, and/or military sexual trauma develop new coping mechanisms with the assistance of a service dog as they transition back to civilian life. Trading isolation for socialization.

Geographic areas served: Tampa Bay Metropolitan Area

Programs: We teach veterans and active duty service members to train their own service dog in our 19-week Service Dog Training Course. Our complete program, including dog and all necessary equipment, are provided to the veteran at absolutely no charge!

Community Stories

42 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have met several awesome dogs and former Sheriffs and others in the military , that have taken classes along side of my rescue bait dog and I , that have proudly taken many classes at Professional Dog training here in Ocala Fla... It has been a real honor to have met these remarkable men as well as loving and such well trained dogs that came from your amazing place !!!. I hope to one day visit you all and when I retire perhaps help to volunteer however I can . Thank you all for all that you do and making such a HUGE difference for all people needing a K9 partner and vice versa . !!! Thank you all for all that you do, and God bless you all !!! XOXO

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was blessed to experience the complete program and continuing to reap the benefits the training and support provides. This is a highly professional team of trainers and support staff. My life status has improved having been provided a trained "battle buddy" I never have to walk with the challenges of my wounds alone thanks to K9P4P.
Sincerely, W. Carroll


2 shppkl

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Great organization that not only helps VETS but helps rescue dogs find their forever homes with a VET.

3 Howard B.1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

K9 Partners for Patriots Inc.help my son ( Sonny Brooks) with the best friend he could ever have Aquino his service dog My son has PTSD and my wife and I were afraid he do something trouble But he found K9 for Patriots and they saved his life with Aquino and lot of support He is now living on his own with his service dog and another puppy My wife and I thank K9 Partners for Patriots for giving back our son He still has problems but with Aquino there with him he's lot better So my self and my wife we thank K9 Partners for Patriots from bottom of our heart

2 Becky W.2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a veteran with severe Ptsd and until I found K9 Partners for Patriots I only left my house to go to work and even then that was a struggle for me. It was through this program that I was able to develop some independence and start having a life again.

Previous Stories
2

Client Served

Rating: 5

This organization saved my life I was practically a shut-in. The only time I left my house was to go to work and even that was becoming more and more difficult. I was finding myself struggling with my PTSD and major depressing symptoms more and more every day. I had dogs at home but didn't realize that they could be trained to help me cope with the world outside of my house. Since I suffer from some other medical issue my dogs also learned to alert to them which plus. I know go out into the world a lot more than I did before and I am able to reconnect with my family which I had totally cut off before.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer at the local humane society and while working there came across a dog who had been returned twice due to his high energy. I fostered him for a month and then contacted K9 Partners for Patriots where he was matched with a veteran in need. A win-win for our community!

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My husband is a disabled vet with PTSD. He found this wonderful program and it has turned into a family for him. Everyone there has a big heart and helps each others in so many ways. My husband just finished the basics and now is entering the 2nd part of this, but I can see already how this is helping and going to continue to help my husband and our family.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Such a Wonderful organization that is doing so much to help our Veterans.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

This organization has changed my life. After getting out of the Army I spiraled out of control into an ocean of depression, survivors guilt, and anxiety. It took the VA years to finally diagnose me correctly, however during that time I found myself self-medicating with street drugs to try and numb/remove the emotional pain and anxiety I experienced on a daily basis. I found K9 Partners for Patriots (K9P4P) when I was at my lowest point, and they immediately brought me into their family and have stood beside me ever since. Their service dog program is different from others in that they train the veteran - who in turn trains their service animal under the watchful eye of the trainers on staff. This method of training is very empowering and it helped me and my service dog build an incredibly strong connection.

I am grateful for this organization and how it not only saves the lives of the various puppies it rescues but also saves the lives of the veterans who enter the program as well. If you are a veteran who suffers from PTSD, MST or TBI and feel as though you are not living your life, I urge you to please reach out to K9P4P. They will help you start living your best life!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The K9 Partners for Patriots team is very knowledgeable, caring, and inviting. They welcome everyone with open arms. Their Service Dog training program is phenomenal. They patiently work with every Human and Dog team to make sure they support each other. As a volunteer and foster Mom, I have experienced some of the most heart warming moments between a Veteran and his or her Battle Buddy. I have also seen the renewed freedom Veteran's finally find because of the mutual love and respect the Battle Buddies have for each other. K9 Partners for Patriots defines real hope for our Veterans.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Everybody has a story; I’m not a veteran or an active Service Member. I came from corporate America but knew I wanted to give back to my community in a way that would make a real difference but I thought what could I offer this non-profit without any military or prior dog training experience?!

I worked with Cindy, our volunteer coordinator who introduced me to the K9P4P family of staff and volunteers while training me in their office. I observed the training classes, met some program veterans, and witnessed for myself the transformation that takes place each and every week of their 19-week program. I helped with some aftercare events, asked questions and learned all the elements of this operation from their Basic Class through graduation day and beyond. I have seen the miracles happen.

Mostly, I have seen a dedicated team of staff personnel, volunteers and an extended family of amazing people come together for a common purpose, to save the lives of our veterans who have given so much to their country as well as the lives of dogs that may have otherwise not been given their chance at life. Mary Peter is flawless and second to none in her execution of this program with her extensive knowledge of K9 training and handling as well as her commitment to saving veterans! Her staff and volunteers are equally of the highest caliber.

Going on 3 years later, I work on the grant team and help to keep this fantastic state-of-the-art program operating in a way that expands the program to even more veterans in need. My job is challenging and rewarding and I learn something new every day.

For me personally, I love what I do here. K9 Partners for Patriots is a place of comfort and a second family where friendships are formed, tears are cried and dried, milestones are marked and achievements are recognized and celebrated. I am honored to be a part of it.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My daughter came to K9 as an Army veteran. She received a warm welcome from the day she walked through the door the very first time. She and her service dog have gone through the training and advanced training stages. The training that K9 Partners for Patriots gives is very professional and with love for both the veterans and their service dogs.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

K9 Partners for Patriots is a professional organization that is devoted to helping veterans suffering from PTSD in training their canines to become certified Service Dogs. The staff is compassionate, patient and dedicated in their teaching, support and in their commitment to the veterans, the community and in their mission for professionalism.
Personally, I appreciate the entire staff's involvement in their service and devotion to this organization. My husband is a veteran of the Viet Nam War. Being an older vet with an older dog did not disqualify him. The staff worked diligently with each trainee despite their age, gender or other disabilities in achieving their goals. Their attitude and environment was always positive and one that "you can do it". The staff was interested in each trainee and you felt part of this "family". My husband and his dog are forever grateful for this opportunity and remain faithful in practicing their drills twice daily to maintain the dog's performance and his ability to respond appropriately to each command.
This program has enriched all our lives and has unified my husband and dog's relationship. It has provided the security and ability for my husband to lead a more active and independent life. We are forever grateful to this superb organization for their interest, high standards and dedication in their mission in training service dogs and their veteran handlers to achieve their goals and certification in this much needed community program.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I just recently started this oustanding program, however, I have known about it for several years. I beleive K9P4P is the work of God through Mary Peter and all of her truly AMAZING compassionate staff!! They partnered me with my new best buddy "Duke"...... whom I truly couldn't imagine living life without now! He is AWESOME!! I will be forever grateful to K9P4P for what they have provided me. Furthermore, I highly recommend this to any veteran willing to make the commitment. It is an absolutely PRICELESS gift....Thanks so much and God Bless you all!!

2 Marcia Anderson J.

Client Served

Rating: 5

With the help of K9 Partners for Patriots, Inc. I have seem my husband come alive. From meeting his Service Dog to training him what a blessing for my husband and our family. From not wanting to do anything or go anywhere just be a lone to now being able to get out and to things with family and a few friends. It's still work for him but he has his Service Dog by his side and a new family K9 Partners for Patriots that are there for him to encourage and support him. Now he faces cancer with many trips to Moffitt a head with his Service Dog, family and new family K9P4P help and support he will make it. Thank You!!!!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a US NAVY VETERAN and I suffer from PTSD . I learned of K9P4P through my therapist at the VA . I went to their website read about the program and decided to go ahead and fill out the application for the program and send it through. I received an Email back from Wil the Veteran Liaison about 24 hours after I sent in the application. Wil stayed I needed to get the necessary paperwork sent back to get things moving along so he could setup an Interview . I then gathered up all the necessary paperwork and sent it back to Wil . I then received both an Email from Wil along with a follow up phone call. Wil stated I was all set for an Interview on Tuesday May 1 st at 1:00pm . After I hung up with Wil I became very nervous thinking did I do the right thing by signing up for the program. About three weeks passed and the next thing I knew it was Tuesday May 1st time for my interview. I found the K9P4P complex very easily , as I was pulling into the parking lot I was overcome with all kinds of feelings that were running through my head. I entered the building and spoke to the office manager Kellie who immediately made me feel very comfortable, I then felt less nervous and less apprehensive. Kellie than went to get Wil and returned and introduced Wil to me. Wil then shook my hand and proceeded to give me a big Hug and stated we hug here and we are one Big Family. Wil then showed me around the facility. We then made our way to the mockup Restaurant were Wil proceeded to Interview me , part way through Wil asked for my Drivers License and proceeded to his office , as I waited I was once again overcome by my nerves with a million things running through my head. Wil then returned with my license and said Welcome to the Family Brother and then turned to me and gave me a big hug and smiled at me with a sincere look which put me totally at ease and made feel that I was now officially part of K9P4P. Rather then ramble on I will conclude with that this program is ever so Special and well worth going through. Everyone treats you with the Utmost Respect from Mary along with all the Trainers down . Everyone is made to feel they are part of the family. Receiving your Dog is a totally great expierence . Once you start to bond with your Dog words alone can not explain the feeling that you are overcome with and the closeness you expierence with your new Battle Buddy. It was totally amazing for me the feelings I felt and have since felt on a daily basis . It was amazing how much better I begain to feel along with my flashbacks starting to minimize. I can not put into words the feeing one expierences In closing let me say I can not Stress enough how Great this Program is !!!! It has Totally changed my Life around !!! Thank You Mary and Staff for all You have Done for me. I am Forever Indeded to You All for saving this Veteran along with all the other Veterans on a Daily Basis !!! Again from the bottom of My Heart Thank You to My New Family !!
To any Vets out there suffering from PTSD you need to get involved in this Life Saving Program !!!!!

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am a disabled veteran. While sitting in the V.A. Hospital I met a woman whom I seen before that appeared to be closed down emotionally. Today however her appearance was quite differnt. She was radiant somewhat up beat. As I approached her to say hello., I noticed she had a service dog with her. I asked how she was feeling. Her response threw me for a loop. She stated she finally had someone in her life she can trust, she pointed down to her service dog. I asked how she was able to attain the dog she told me through a program for patriots. She went onto to explain how K9partners for patriots not only gave her a dog and help train her to obtain the dog but gave her ,her dignity back. Unfortunately do to my disabilities I can't qualify for the program. Seeing the change in her was enough for me to know the program is top rated. Thank you for helping my fellow Veterans.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I began volunteering for K9 Partners For Patriots a little over four years ago, and have found it to be one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I have always had a love for dogs, and to pair that love with helping our nation's heroes heal the wounds of war has been astounding. Not only is the organization helping our veterans find purpose and meaning, but the lives of many dogs are saved as well. It has been an honor and privilege to be a part of this powerful family of veterans and their battle buddies, staff and volunteers.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I'm a multiple theater Combat veteran. I have had very bad PTSD for more than 20 years when i learned about K9P4P, My wife was the one that found and talked with the founder and CEO Mary Peter. For this UN-believable organization to except me was an huge mile stone in my life and going through the program was life changing and it has been a life saver (literally) My battle buddy is a Golden Doodle Name JOJO and she helps me on a daily bases with my anger issues, my PTSD,my balance ( i have drop foot and nerve damage in both my legs), and surprisingly my diabetic problems. She is my companion and goes just about everywhere with me. I never knew what a non-profit was till i came through there doors and seen with my own eyes that they do everything for the Veteran and there dog with very little help. I wish more organizations were about the Veteran and not what they get out of it. Thank god for Mary Peter and her non-profit..
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2

Donor

Rating: 5

It's simple: 1) they rescue dogs from a shelter and place them with a veteran that needs them desperately. 2) The veteran and dog get the training and socialization that they need to properly function in life. What could be more perfect! I'm donating.