Partners in Independence
Valor Service Dogs is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization that helps wounded post-9/11 veterans and first responders regain their independence, return to civilian life, and maintain successful partnerships through the training and placing of mobility assistance and PTSD service dogs. In addition to aiding veterans and first responders in community reintegration, both physically and psychologically, Valor Service Dogs bring awareness and education to the general public on service dogs, their training, and the laws that allow service dogs to be active members of society.
What makes us different?
While there are several veteran and first responder focused service dog organizations out there, we are unique in four ways: 1) Our Executive Director was one of the few government-contracted service dog training instructors at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, bringing best-in-class training techniques to Valor Service Dogs. 2) We are one of the few organizations that focus on mobility AND post-traumatic stress disorder service dogs (PTSD), allowing us to help more clients with a wider range of needs. 3) We train dogs to meet the needs of a specific client, not a one-size-fits-all approach. Each person can know that their dog was specifically selected and trained just for them. 4) We place service dogs in all 50 States, not just within a limited radius of our headquarters.
Meeting the Unmet Needs
There is a growing demand for service dogs and the spectrum of injuries is vast. Service dog organizations need to be adapting and growing with the many types of injuries that service members are coming home with and first responders are sustaining in the line of duty. Currently, there are no organizations in the Tampa area that offer service dogs that facilitate the transition from military/service life to civilian and home life through both physical AND psychological support. These dogs become a conversation topic that our client can not only be proud and comfortable to discuss, but also a positive contribution that the he or she "brings home".
Additionally, there is a great need to bring awareness and education to the general public on service dogs and their tasks, requirements, and laws. These are still not understood by the general public and many businesses, and can often create stressful situations for both the dog and the handler. The Valor Service Dog team and all of our volunteers are educated on the laws that protect service dogs and service dogs in-training. We try to use our time in public to educated those around us so that we can help create a more welcoming and understanding environment for future working pairs.