Often, when our men and women come back from service they are re-adjusting to civilian life and a good amount are doing so with a disability (physical and/or mental). At Operation Freedom Paws (OFP) we support veterans from all conflicts who are suffering from mental and physical disabilities to help them navigate through life by providing them with a service dog and the new mission/purpose to train that dog for their specific medical needs. We do this by rescuing dogs from shelters and/or rescue groups, evaluating each dog to ensure they will make a good service dog, and then match them with a veteran client. We then provide this client and their family with veterinary care, food, equipment, therapy sessions, support groups and the classes to teach them to train their own service dog at no cost to the client while they are in our program. We require a valid doctor's note and a commitment of class attendance, twice a week, for approximately a year. We are a 501(c)3 organization and all donations are tax-deductible.
Some Facts about us:
* OFP has 126 applicants on our waiting list. Some are veterans; the rest are adults and children who don't qualify for other service dog programs, or can't afford to buy a service dog from a traditional organization. All are medically disabled.
* Cost to clients for the dog, training, veterinary care, equipment, food, toys, treats, and (in some cases) gas cards for transportation to and from class = $0.00.
* Average cost to OFP to provide everything a single team needs to succeed as a service dog team = $15,000.
* OFP is funded by private donations and grants; we receive $0 in Government assistance.
* Our program is constantly evolving, to become more effective and relevant for our clients.
* Our mentor-trainers are graduates of the program.
* Every dollar donated goes directly toward supporting our mission to rescue dogs, match them, and train them with their handlers to create a new normal for both human and dog.
* Since 2010, we have accepted 239 clients. 49 of them are currently in training.
For all veterans, it's hard to ask for help. Because OFP was started by a vet and we're a veteran-focused organization, we're no exception. But we could REALLY use your help! If you like what we're doing, please make a one-time (or even better, recurring) donation to OFP to help us continue our work. Thanks for your support!