Patriot PAWS Service Dogs was designated as a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization in February 2006. What started as four volunteers helping disabled Veterans train their own dogs, has now placed over 360 dogs in TX and across the country. Patriot PAWS holds an active membership and is accredited by Assistance Dogs International (ADI); the only certifying Service Dog organization in the United States. Lori Stevens, Founder and Executive Director of Patriot PAWS, is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer with over 30 years of experience. She is a member of several professional organizations including The Association of Professional Dog Trainers, is an AKC-approved evaluator for the Canine Good Citizen Program, and a Certified Animal Trainer through the Karen Pryor Academy of Dog Training Professionals.
Our main training and kennel facilities are located in Rockwall, TX, about 20 miles east of Dallas. This campus includes our administrative offices, state-of-the-art kennel facilities, a fully equipped veterinary clinic, a dedicated training building, a hospitality house for Veterans, and an engraved brick garden to honor and remember loved ones (2-legged and 4-legged alike!) in our beautifully landscaped Patriot Garden.
Patriot PAWS' training program also includes our innovative 11-year partnership with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ). The goal of the program is to teach offenders to help us train Service Dogs for disabled Veterans while they are incarcerated. Our offender trainers are not only able to use this opportunity to give back to society during their incarceration, but they also gain vocational skills which they can use upon their release. The Patriot PAWS-TDCJ partnership is a huge success and serves as a model for other dog training organizations that wish to create similar programs.
In addition, Patriot PAWS works with Volunteer Puppy Raisers, both in the Dallas area and at Texas A&M University in College Station, to help socialize and prepare our dogs to meet public access and certification standards. Patriot PAWS of Aggieland is a university-sanctioned, student-led volunteer club with a membership of more than 250 students. Oversight of the program is conducted by a full-time, on-site Patriot PAWS trainer and assistant trainer. The students live and work with the dogs, both on and off-campus, and attend regular training classes conducted by our Aggieland training team.
Many things have changed in the past several years. What has not changed is the fact that there are 80 American heroes struggling with disabilities while they wait for a Patriot PAWS Service Dog. In fact, the added day-to-day stress of life during a global pandemic makes their struggles more challenging than ever.
Nobody knows how long the COVID-19 crisis will last, and we can't predict how long it will continue to impact our mission financially. What we do know is that it costs over $35,000 to train and place one of our Service Dogs with a disabled Veteran. The fewer financial resources we have, the fewer Service Dogs we can train, which means the longer those 80 disabled Veterans will be waiting for one of our dogs to help them regain their independence - and possibly even save their life.
Your North TX Giving Day donation - no matter the size - will help provide the resources we need to KEEP CALM & TRAIN ON for the heroes we serve. They have sacrificed so much for our freedoms. Can you help us give them back some of theirs?