Last year, we experienced many wonderful achievements and milestones. Now that the 2016 chapter of K9s For Warriors’ story has concluded, it is time to turn the page and shift our focus to 2017. I am proud to inform you that I have stepped into a new role at K9s For Warriors - Chief Executive Officer. I plan to use my legal background, entrepreneurial spirit, and leadership skills to guide this organization to a direction of additional growth and prosperity.
It is such an honor to lead an organization with so much hope and heart, which is clear to every individual that enters the doors of Camp K9. We have Shari Duval to thank for this. She had a vision and the incredible drive to make the K9s mission into a living, breathing entity.
In 2017, you will see K9s For Warriors diligently working on three essential initiatives. First, K9s will continue to grow the areas that are imperative to the livelihood of our nonprofit. We will increase the amount of warriors we serve, gradually reaching 12 per month. With so many veterans, the time to take action to reduce our waiting list is now. Additionally, K9s will expand our dog training department in order to support our program goals. We will hire more trainers to teach our rescue dogs the skills and knowledge needed to serve our veterans with confidence. Soon, both kennels will be filled with dogs eager to complete their life-saving missions.
Secondly, we will spread the word on how service dogs are an effective treatment option for veterans with PTSD and Military Sexual Trauma (MST). You will see us advocating on local and national levels, positioning ourselves to get in front of key leaders in the legislative arena.
Lastly, we will collaborate with prominent institutes to conduct cutting-edge research on the healing effect that service dogs have on veterans with PTSD and/or MST. Flagler College, Purdue University, and the National Institutes of Health are some of the entities that are already initiating important studies. These partnerships will enable us to gain more exposure, funding, and resources. We look forward to what this year will bring and thank you for your support as we strive to save more lives.