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2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Working Dogs For Vets

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Protection & Welfare, Animal Services, Animals, Health, Military & Veterans Organizations, Rehabilitative Care, Veterans

Mission: Working Dogs For Vets Mission is to provide service dogs and training to veterans in need, empowering them as they return to civilian life with a new found independence, while simultaneously reducing the overcrowding in animal shelters.

Results: W.D.F.V. is the 1st service dog provider in the state of TN that had veteran service dog teams stay in VA long-term treatment centers. We even have service dogs/working dogs that have been accepted at military bases with some who are currently serving alongside active military veterans. Teamsters truck drivers now allow's working dogs for vets dogs to travel with truck drivers nationally. W.D.F.V. was able to pair and train over 500 veterans with rescued dogs and train as service dogs last year and served many teams monthly. That's more than 1000 lives saved because of each person's contributions. Currently, W.D.F.V. has grown to over 800+ members

Target demographics: Disabled veterans and provide service dogs. Many of our dogs are from shelters.

Direct beneficiaries per year: Over 500+ veteran/dog teams with service dog training.

Geographic areas served: the United States across the Nation

Programs: The In house, and No Veteran Left Behind Program

Community Stories

20 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Kelly213

Client Served

Rating: 5

Ken and Brenda helped me back in 2013. I was almost evicted because of my dog, which at the time I never knew just how much he had been helping me with my PTSD. They got him registered as my service dog and has allowed me access to places i always had reservations about going too. Axl is and always be my rock and without the support and always willing to listen from Working Dogs for Vets, I honestly do not know where I would be. Axl is in the middle. I still struggle but he always has my back. Working dogs gave me my life back. Thank you

Previous Stories
3

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was about to loose the only thing that kept me calm, my dog Axl. My landlord at the time didn't allow dogs or cats, so I had to keep Axl hidden. As a veteran you would think I would've been privy to the idea of a service dog, but with PTSD, ideas are fleeting. However a friend recommended that I make Axl my service dog, after a lengthy search I found Ken and Brenda. Knowing he was a veteran, made all the difference. They saved two lives in 2013, and for that, I am forever grateful, veterans and others need more people like Ken and Brenda!

1 Stephen L.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Working Dogs For Vets is a vital lifeline to us veterans. When I first applied for a service dog I knew nothing about the requirements or how long it would take. Ken and Brenda Knabenshue had to learn about me and y particular medical issues. I have both lung & and heart issues, as well as being diabetic. It wasn't long and I had my service dog. The bond between the veteran and the service dog is a beautiful thing to watch. Amber (my service dog's name) is constantly by my side, always watching and always ready to help. She has already saved my life once. She really takes care of me! I can't say enough about working dogs for vets, or Ken & Brenda! I'm not a rich man but I wish I was, because I would give a ton of money to Working Dogs for Vets because of the good that can be done to help other Vets. I know the hurt in me, and I know what this program does to help mend the wounds in our minds! A great organization operated by knowledgeable, caring staff is one of the best organizations with a clear cut mission to help broken and wounded veteran's get the most out of their remaining years. I Love this organization and the people who run it!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

hello my name is Timothy and my dogs name is buddy. I'm a Afghan veteran. Buddy is still in training I was looking at different organizations for a while then I came across working dogs for veterans. The day after I sent in my application I found buddy in a shelter and he helps me with depression and ptsd. He is half hound/ lab mix only 1 year old when I got him but before I got him I had my ups and downs and nightmares now he has shown me a new meaning to life and so as working dogs for veterans also. He is my life saver my battle buddy for life. I can't wait till he knows all the stuff he needs to know to help me. Ken and Brenda are such wonderful friends and for my trainer Billie she is the best. Thanks for reading my story.

1 Tango C.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I could never have done this without Ken and Brenda. I now have a job and my employer understands my needs and they have fully accepted Tango and are building her a habitat to accommodate her.

1 Paige16

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Working Dogs for Vets has been a life changer. In just a short time they matched me with a Service Dog in Training and she has gone everywhere with me. She helps me with many aspects of my life and it is all thanks to WDFV. Brenda and Ken are the family members I wish I had had all along. They are easy to talk to and help you with anything you need from needing to talk to recommendations to matching you with the right dog. They are truly lifesavers. Thank you WDFV for everything that you do to help veterans and dogs at the same time. If you are a veteran in need of help finding or training a service dog, please contact WDFV!!!

2 Brent11

Client Served

Rating: 5

its a very good program that help me me out by helping train my dog to become my service dog they help me out in everyway to get her train and certify my dog has saved my life in everyway thank to eorking dog for veterans and very great ful for them and i will help them out in anyway like just telling other veterans about them so thank you

4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have know and trained with Ken for the past 6 years.
Ken founded the organization,
Working Dogs For Vets.
This organization helps veterans obtain Service Dogs that they soo greatly deserve and need. There is No Charge for these dogs.
Ken is 100% loyal, devoted and Dedicated to our veterans.
He has personally told me about the many calls he has received from veterans, their children and their spouses. Each one crying out for Help for their veterans, their loved ones.
I know of no other like Ken and his wife Brenda that sacrifice as they do to help those qualified veterans in such dire need of a Service Dog.
This organization was founded for the purpose of helping those veterans that needed a hand up through a Service Dog.
WDFV supplies more Service Dogs free of charge to more Qualified veterans than any other organization in the United States.
I salute you Ken and Working Dogs For Vets and the endless generosity you extend to those veterans in need.
N

10

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a 36 yr old combat Veteran with 100% disability for PTSD. I served as an Airborne Ranger in the US Army and when I had to leave the military I didn't want to and was absolutely lost. I struggled with alcoholism, addiction, homelessness etc. before getting help from the VA, turning my life around and dedicating my time to other Veterans experiencing the same struggles that I had. I ran a house for homeless Veterans in Boston for 5 years where we always had at least 6 or 7 other Veterans living together to provide support & companionship but after putting in my time to help others I decided it was time to move on with my own life & buy a home in Florida. The change to being completely isolated, on my own in a strange community was extremely stressful and I began to struggle with depression, severe anxiety, etc. in ways that I hadn't in a long time. It was then someone recommended the possibility of a service dog to help me feel comfortable at home and able to go out in public again. I hadn't really considered it before but I started reaching out to organizations. I was repeatedly told I would have to wait 2-5 years and pay between $7k - $12k to receive a service dog regardless of my status, doctor recommendations, etc. I was becoming increasingly desperate and started reaching out beyond my own state of Florida. Almost immediately I received a call from Ken and Brenda of WDFV. They were getting me a dog and they were doing it soon. They didn't call to see if they "could" help they called to tell me they WERE helping and that it wouldn't cost me a nickel. I was floored and after some coordination I was on a plane to go meet and be matched with my new teammate "Max". When I arrived it was abundantly clear that this wasn't some people who worked at a charity organization, this was a family who's lives were dedicated to helping animals and Veterans. The facility is their home, filled with dogs where volunteers and clients alike freely come and go in and out of the house as a family would. Every moment of everyday for them is about this work. They don't leave it and go home, it IS their home. I've worked with many charitable organizations over the years as a client and as a volunteer and rarely if ever will you find the same level of devotion, conviction and motivation where people sacrifice so much everyday in absolute dedication to others well being. I spent the weekend visiting with Max, participating in events and helping with some fundraising activities and I can say with absolute certainty that this organization does more than any other I've seen, heard of or know about it with every cent they receive. There is no way to go wrong in supporting them. None. While I was there I asked how they managed to support the organization without taking anything from the Veterans they serve and it's only that we as clients return to do what we can, to help the next animal, the next Veteran be saved as we were and to communicate our amazing experiences to people like you who have the power to help this organization continue, grow & thrive. We need to replace the high overhead, board of directors style high salary organizations like "Wounded Warriors" and support people like WDFV who do it out of care, an absolute genuine concern for the well being of others, animal and Veteran. Help them continue to save lives truly in jeopardy, 2 at a time. You won't find an organization that makes your dollars go as far or have as great an impact on so many, I promise you that.

4 Nina24

Client Served

Rating: 5

Ken and Brenda have helped sooo many Vets in training and acquiring a much needed Service Dog. There us no cost to any Vet. They have helped my daughter with her Service Dog for medical alert and PTSD. Workin Dogs for Vets is saving so many lives !!

7

Client Served

Rating: 5

Working Dogs For Vets have saved me in more than one way. They are helping me by getting my lifw back on track with my Service Dog, I am finally starting to slowly go out again...which I haven't done in years. This is more than an organization, this is my family!!

5

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am the wife of a disabled Veteran. after long discussions with my Vet and his counselor, he was advised that a service dog would help him greatly. We started our search and quickly found that not only was the waiting list for service dogs years long, the out of pocket cost was far more than we could ever afford. Thankfully we have a counselor that was determined to help us and she heard about Working dogs for vets! We also had a young German Shepherd that was already attached o my vet and picking up on his moods and things. With the help of Working Dogs for Vets. My husband soon had his own service dog in training. This enabled my Vet to go out and be around people and spend quality time with our children and be able to watch more of their events. He has a "friend" to looks out for him when I am unable to be home. I shudder to think what our lives would be like if WDFV had not have came into our world. I will be forever thankful. Always Greatful, Monica Brooks

4 Dale22

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a combat vet, disabled veteran, Wounded Warriors and purple heart recipient. I was put in for a service dog a couple years ago and my life has been incomplete till I received Kramer. They are generous gift of finding me a service dog, getting a train and being there to guide me through different situations has proved that they are true angels on our shoulders. I cannot express in words my appreciation for everything they have done and continue to do for us.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Working Dogs for Vets is a wonderful organization. They train Service a Dogs for veterans.
They do not charge the veterans for their dogs.
WDFV supplies many dogs per year to qualified veterans.they are wonderful and have our heroes best interest at heart.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I could tell you story after story about many of the veteran dog teams I heard state that Working Dogs For Vets has saved their life. Working Dogs For Vets dedicated supporters and volunteers alike from across the U.S. have worked together as a team it has been both a blessing and a privilage to volunteer with this amazing group who has been working together to reach many goals and carry out their mission. However, I have personally found that getting involved and volunteering has been the best medicine for me because it helps me to focus on helping others instead of my own disabilities.

I love my Working Dogs For Vets Family! I encourage others to get involved, volunteer, and support this amazing cause. I also encourage you to call 84-Dogs help to find out about possible partnership opportunities with this amazing family to see how you or your team could work together with Working Dogs For Vets to make a difference!

4 Barron J.

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is more than anon profit organization, it is a family. They provided me my service dog and continue to follow up to check on us. They provide so much more than an animal. They provide companions and comradere

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a disabled veteran, 100% service connected due to mobility problems and severe PTSD.
My VA caregiver suggested maybe a Service Dog could help ward off episodes of depression, PTSD night terrors, and just plain loneliness.
I bought a Black Lab pup. She was so cute. I call her "Hero" because she is my hero. After 16 months of training with Working Dogs for Vets (WDFV), Hero learned to assist and brace me going up stairs, keeps crowds at a safe distance for me, therefore preventing panic or anxiety attacks, and she reminds me to take my meds on time, and she loves to play when not working. Most of all, I have a goal in life, a responsibility now to take good care of Hero. The unconditional love I receive from her uplifts my spirit. Everytime we go out, I'm happy the general public comments on how beautiful Hero is, and in turn I and Hero help educate the public on Service Dog etiquette. Hopefully the more people see me and Hero out and about, or any other handler/dog unit, they will appreciate and help organizations like the WDFV in Lawrenceburg, TN

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This nonprofit is an amazing group. They provide service dogs and assist with training for veterans and their families for life. They are always available to help 24 hours a day 7 days a week. This is done at no cost forveterans and at the same time they rescue dogs from shelters to train for service dogs. They save 2 lives at one time.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is a great organization dedicated to helping Veterans train their own Service Dog through online, onsite, via telephone, anyway they can possibly help. They also train dogs on site for Veterans as well and they have a vigorous training and agility schedule/routine. I have a very unique and somewhat rare condition called Cataplexy and I own a German Shepherd that I've had since she was a puppy. I searched and searched for organizations that could help me get a Service Dog, however nobody could offer any help to me because of the nature and rarity of my disease. During my search for help, everytime I had a Cataplexy attack my shepherd would act funny just before the attack and then she would go and get my wife, or if I was home alone she would lay by my side until it was over. So needless to say after searching and talking to various groups, I come across this organization, Working Dogs for Vets, and I gave them a call and spoke with Ken. After multiple phone conversations, and research by Ken, he determined that since my own Shepherd was already responding and signaling my attacks, there is no better dog for me than her. Since then we have worked with Ken on site, via Internet , and phone for last year or so honing my dogs skills and basic obedience as well. I can take her anywhere and she does great everywhere we go. If it wasn't for Ken and Working Dogs, I'm sure I'd still be looking for help. They truly go above and beyond to help in every way possible.

3

Donor

Rating: 5

I came to know this group thru a inmate dog training program that I run. The dedication they have to the veterans has been unmatched by any organization I have seen. Ken and Brenda put their heart and soul in helping the veterans in need of a service dog attain the right match, train it to the proper needs, and follow the veteran thru the partnership it takes for a excellent service dog. They give their lives to this cause and I truly admire them. A very taxing endeavor, but it is deep in their hearts. Changing lives for the better for our veterans. Could there be a better cause? PLEASE help this great organization in any way you can!