Dogs For Our Brave is a Non-Profit organization that pairs injured American Veterans with service dogs at no cost.
In 2013, Andy Gladstein learned the benefits of highly trained service dogs and how their companionship with wounded veterans can be life changing. He was shocked, however, to learn that most of these skilled service dogs come at a price tag of $25,000. This expense made skilled service dogs unattainable for most war vets.
Inspired to find a more affordable way to thank veterans for their dedication and sacrifice and help them heal, Gladstein founded Dogs For Our Brave. “What these soldiers needed was someone who would fight for them as they fought for their country; faithfully, every day, without question or complaint,” says Gladstein. In order to change even more lives, he decided to create an organization that would rescue and train shelter dogs to become capable service dogs.
Each dog is trained to perform basic commands – sit, lie down, come and stay. They’re also trained to turn light switches on and off, open doors, retrieve, and perform other commands tailored to the special needs of each veteran. After their training, each dog is placed with a veteran companion at zero cost.
This therapeutic relationship is made more attainable for war vets as Dogs For Our Brave completely covers all foreseeable pet-related expenses that veterans could incur including food for the dog, pharmaceuticals, veterinary care, and training. By covering 100% of the financial needs of the service pet, Dogs For Our Brave and its donors allow the veteran to focus on their health.
To date, nine dogs have been paired with veterans, with more expected to graduate in the spring. Among many success stories, their first pairing might be the most memorable. In 2014, Dogs For Our Brave paired veteran Army 1st Sgt. Chris Roseberry with Gabby – a mixed breed rescue dog. After losing his left leg during an accident while stationed at Fort Bragg, Chris continued to serve our country and deploy. Today, Gabby is helping him live a full life despite his injury, and providing unconditional companionship along the way.
For more information about Dogs For Our Brave, or to enroll in the program, visit www.dogsforourbrave.com.