The Dallas Morning News ran a story this week about a very worthwhile program run by a local group. They offer service dogs to wounded vets who need help getting around. The program is only one year old, and is provided by Patriot Paws. Excerpts from the article:
“We need to help the guys who offer their life to this country,” said Lori Stevens, founder and training director of the Rockwall nonprofit Patriot Paws. “This is something I can do to give something back.”
“We’re looking for more veterans,” said Ms. Stevens, a Royse City resident who has been training service dogs for 15 years.
The dogs can help with life’s basics – dressing, shopping and preparing food, and even standing up or moving about. Training typically takes at least a year, Ms. Stevens said, at a cost of $12,000 to $20,000 including food, veterinary bills and trainers’ time.
The Patriot Paws program charges veterans $1,500. Profits from Ms. Stevens’ dog-training business in Rockwall pay the bills for now. The Petco Foundation helps with food costs.
But ideally, fundraisers and donations will support the operation, said Bill Perkins, chairman of the organization’s board. A fundraiser last fall netted about $4,000.
The agency doesn’t provide the animals but allows training at its facilities and tries to help needy veterans find a dog, said Susan Poff, a VA spokeswoman.