You’ve likely heard the phrase that the best companies are always changing and innovating. At K9s For Warriors, we wholeheartedly embrace and run with that concept. In the growing service dog industry, we pride ourselves on being leaders and on the forefront of proving the value of rescue dogs. We’re increasingly becoming the model service dog nonprofit in the U.S. due to our multifaceted and genuine methods. To that end, we want to share with you some of our most exciting, current developments that demonstrate how K9s is changing and innovating to help more warriors and more rescue dogs in 2020 and beyond.
Mega Kennel: We’ve secured 5.5 acres of donated land near our Northeast Florida headquarters to build one of the largest kennels in America. At any given time, this kennel could hold up to 250 rescues in training to become service dogs. These service dog candidates will come from all over the country, especially from our forthcoming kennel in San Antonio, Texas (see below). More service dogs available equals more veterans saved. Plain and simple.
Petco Foundation K9 Center: This kennel marks our national expansion. Located in San Antonio, it will help save up to 200 Texas shelter dogs a year. Texas is the state with the highest number and level of euthanized dogs per year. With that statistic and San Antonio’s designation of Military City USA, what better state in which to initiate our expansion efforts. We’ll transport these canines to our training campuses in Florida to go through formal service dog training to eventually be matched with their veteran. We broke ground on the Petco Foundation K9 Center in December 2019 and estimate building completion in the summer of this year.
This kennel is made possible by a highly generous, $2 million grant investment from the Petco Foundation. The Petco Foundation has long supported K9s For Warriors’ mission. We could not be more grateful for this substantial investment in our program, which helped kickstart our national expansion!
Chartrand Family Warrior Resource Center: Don’t let this simple name belie the huge endeavors that will come from this building. This one center will actually comprise four different ventures. Here is brief overview of each:
- K9s For Warriors Resource Center will be a 4-unit residential training center where graduates of K9FW can come for recertification, additional training, or pairing with a second Service Dog upon the retirement of their initial dog. This will allow us to provide these additional resources to our warriors and Service Dog graduates while not interrupting the monthly training that occurs as part of our program.
- American Service Dog Access Coalition (ASDAC) works with access providers including major airlines, rideshare companies, hotel chains and others to ensure that our veterans have free and unfettered access to the world with their Service Dogs. These access providers are committed to assisting our warriors in their recovery and empowering them to return to civilian life with dignity and independence.
- Association of Service Dog Providers for Military Veterans (ASDPMV). This is a collaboration of 14 organizations like K9FW, providing lifesaving Service Dogs to our veterans suffering from PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injury and Military Sexual Trauma. The goal of this collaboration is to work together, become more efficient and effective, and to collectively put an end to veteran suicide.
- K9s For Warriors Research Institute partners with researchers and universities to conduct lifesaving research and fight veteran suicide. This research validates service canine programs and works to develop best practices and standards for such programs. Additionally, the Research Institute is advocating for legislation through the Department of Veterans Affairs to fund lifesaving Service Dogs, fight fake “service dogs,” and pioneer programs to study Military Sexual Trauma.
This center’s groundbreaking was on January 15th. Construction will soon commence!
We hope you feel even more proud of supporting our mission knowing the big plans in store to serve even more veterans and rescue dogs in more ways than ever before. We invite you to continue on this innovative journey with us through the next year, and as always, follow our social media for the latest updates!