Our mission is to help veterans heal, re-connect and transition to civilian life by working with shelter dogs. Through our Battle Buddies program, veterans and dogs work together and provide each other with mutual support and companionship to help their new ‘Battle Buddy’ re-engage and re-connect with others. Our Good Dog Workshop team coaches veterans through a series of hands-on instructional workshops with selected shelter dogs, resulting in a comprehensive understanding of dogs, their behavior, and our relationships with them.
Just because you’re no longer wearing the uniform, doesn’t mean you’re no longer fighting a battle. We know that many veterans, active duty, and transitioning military members are hurting when they return home from serving our country. Some have visible injuries, some have invisible injuries. Some feel unwanted or unappreciated. Some are having difficulty transitioning to civilian life. Many feel they’ve lost their direction or sense of purpose. This program was created for those military members who need help—be it help finding a purpose, a new career path, a companion, or a reason to live. And our Battle Buddies program is designed to provide this help in the form of dogs. Working with shelter dogs, to be precise.
How can dogs help veterans? Simply: through security and companionship. For thousands of years dogs have played an important role in our lives. Dogs originally came to humans to get an easy meal without having to expend energy by hunting fast and potentially dangerous prey. At the same time, we humans benefited from the dogs’ presence by their alerting us to danger as well as their providing us with companionship. This mutually beneficial relationship of security and companionship has essentially remained unchanged to this day. Our Battle Buddies program was designed to utilize that mutually beneficial relationship by helping veterans together with homeless dogs. Recent statistics show that approximately 670,000 shelter dogs are euthanized each year. Animal shelters have very limited space to house and care for homeless dogs and there is a constant shortage of people willing to care for these homeless dogs and find them good homes. By actively helping and working with these shelter dogs, veterans are performing another great service for their community, their country and these animals in need. In return, veterans receive the support and companionship that dogs naturally provide.
Is Battle Buddies Right for You? While there are some excellent programs already in place for veterans, the Battle Buddies program is available to all veterans, not just those with visible or invisible injuries. Battle Buddies may be ideal to help those who wish to:
Help shelter dogs become more adoptable through training and socializing them with other dogs,
Serve their community by volunteering with a local shelter or an animal rescue group,
Learn how to work with dogs professionally or to increase their knowledge and understanding of dogs,
Adopt or foster a shelter dog,
Take a break from the stresses of their everyday lives by enjoying the companionship of a dog.
Any veteran, active duty or transitioning military member who enjoys the company of dogs is welcome to register. There is NO COST to veterans participating in our program. We simply require three things from participants: A love of dogs, a desire to help fellow veterans, and a positive attitude. Thank you for joining us in our mission to help veterans and homeless dogs!