Northwest Battle Buddies gifts professionally trained service dogs to Veterans battling PTSD, helping them regain their freedom and independence – with a 100% success rate.
Every day in the United States, 22 veterans die from suicide due in part to PTSD, totaling over 8,000 lives lost each year. Northwest Battle Buddies is making a difference by using service dogs to help veterans overcome the debilitating symptoms of PTSD and start living the life they deserve. A monthly donation of $22 helps to provide a life-changing, professionally trained service dog to a veteran.
“Service dogs can be the difference between life and death. I’ve listened to stories from other veterans, and I hear the pain in their voices and see it in their eyes. As an empathetic person, I feel their pain almost like it’s my own. And having the presence of a service dog to help buffer those feelings of pain – it’s powerful,” says Combat Veteran DL, whose companion is Northwest Battle Buddies service dog Atlas.
Many American Heroes return home to find their greatest battle still awaits as they battle Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and the debilitating effects that often lead to thoughts of suicide. Service dogs make a difference. There is no cure for PTSD; however, with a canine Battle Buddy by their side, veterans with PTSD can reduce their symptoms with life-changing results. These professionally trained dogs perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a chronic disability who cannot perform the work or task independently from him or herself, help a person to redirect their emotions, and calm a person with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack. These actions by the service dog include waking their Veteran from nightmares, interrupting anxiety attacks, redirecting flashbacks, alerting on adrenaline, providing a social barrier in public, performing pressure therapy, and providing a constant feeling of safety. The service dogs spend 5+ months in intensive training, then are carefully matched with a Veteran handler for five more weeks of training and bonding, creating the ultimate partnership. Many service dogs are rescued from animal shelters.
“There is so much preparation, dedication and hard work as the dogs are either adopted or bred. The pups are raised in carefully selected foster homes for 8-12 months and then the dogs enter their 5 months of professional training. The final step is selecting the Veterans that will be paired with the dogs to then enter their 5 weeks of training. This is where the “magic” happens. The instant the Veterans meet their dogs the walls start to come down, the tears start to flow, and they begin to truly hope again and start to believe that a future of freedom and independence is within their grasp. Northwest Battle Buddies National Model invests the longest training time for their dogs and their Veterans in the industry. Excellence is the standard for our dogs and our Veterans, they deserve nothing less,” shares Shannon Walker, CEO and Founder of Northwest Battle Buddies.
How the Public Can Help:
- Join Operation Never Quit (ONQ22) and pledge $22+ monthly to provide a professionally trained service dog to a veteran.
- Additional volunteer options found on the website include Amazon Charity List, custom fundraisers, fostering a puppy, the Freedom Gala, memorials and registries, becoming a sponsor, requesting a speaker, and more.
Northwest Battle Buddies was founded to support veterans. They have been gifting professionally trained service dogs since 2012, with over 200 working teams. Shannon Walker, CEO and Founder, was inspired by her veteran father, Glenn Walker, United States Air Force, Airman 2nd Class. He taught her to love America and the men and women who served, fought, and died protecting this great Nation, protecting the freedom that every American enjoys today. Visit their website for more information.