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America's VetDogs

America’s VetDogs® began in 2003 as a project of the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind to consolidate and increase our outreach to veterans of all eras. In 2006, it became a separate 501(c)(3) corporation.

VetDogs provides guide dogs for veterans who are blind; service dogs for those with other physical disabilities; physical and occupational therapy dogs to work with amputees in military and VA hospitals; and combat stress control dogs to be deployed in theater.

All of our services are provided at no cost to veterans, and our funding comes from the generous contributions of individuals, corporations, foundations, businesses, and service and fraternal clubs.

For a veteran with a serious limb injury, amputation, or traumatic brain injury, a service dog can provide stability support climbing up and down stairs or getting in and out of a chair, and can be trained to fetch and retrieve specific items, e.g., medication, a wallet, or a phone. For veterans with seizure disorder, dogs can be trained to alert for seizure response.

Our Mission:

To help those who have served our country honorably live with dignity and independence.

The service dog programs of America’s VetDogs® were created to provide enhanced mobility and renewed independence to United States veterans, active-duty service members, and first responders with disabilities, allowing them to once again live with pride and self-reliance.  Not only does a service dog provide support with daily activities, it provides the motivation to tackle every day challenges.

VetDogs trains and places service dogs for those with physical disabilities; guide dogs for individuals who are blind or have low vision; service dogs to help mitigate the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder; and facility dogs as part of the rehabilitation process in military and VA hospitals.

It costs over $50,000 to breed, raise, train, and place one assistance dog; however, all of VetDogs’ services are provided at no charge to the individual.  Funding comes from the generosity of individuals, corporations, foundations, businesses, and community organizations.

Once they make the decision to get a service dog, applicants become part of VetDogs’ open and welcoming community.  Students will come to our 10-acre campus in Smithtown, New York, for our two-week in-residence training program.  Classes are kept small to ensure personalized attention for each student and their new dog.  Over the course of the time spent with us, the student and dog bond and learn how to work together as a team.  They are supported with an uncompromising commitment to excellence, from highly empathetic and certified trainers to a meticulously constructed curriculum.


Service Area:
New York
Association of Service Dog Providers for Military Veterans


Association of Service Dog Providers for Military Veterans is a coalition of non-profit service dog providers for military Veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury, and military sexual trauma working to prevent suicide and improve military Veterans’ mental health.


Ensure that Veterans are provided with the highest quality service dogs.


Enable Veterans to effortlessly identify and connect with qualified organizations nationally.


Service Area:
Companions for Heroes

Our Mission

To champion public awareness of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and challenges confronting our country’s heroes and rally support for shelter animal adoption by connecting heroes and companions.

Our Vision

To help every American Hero and save every shelter or rescue animal from euthanasia.

Founder’s Story

November 2001 I was serving in the U.S. Air Force Security Forces, where I endured several traumatic incidents that, at the time, did not seem to affect my relationships with my family, friends, and colleagues. However, a short time after my first deployment, things began to change; a life-threatening situation occurred during the same period where I lost two friends in my unit due to suicide. All of a sudden, I found myself acting violently towards my family, friends, and myself.

During this period, our family ended up getting a rescued pit bull named Cheyenne, who saw so many of my outbursts. Ultimately things got worse before they got better, and I began contemplating suicide because I just wanted the pain to end. In the end, it was Cheyenne and her presence that took my focus off the pain and made me reconsider living.

Immediately I felt so relieved, like someone had taken a 10,000-pound weight off my chest. My family and friends noticed a significant change in my behavior – a reduced number of outbursts, a better attitude, and my decision not to commit suicide – all because of this little pit bull puppy. Cheyenne gave me a purpose and someone else to live and care for.

Following these incidents, I was diagnosed by the Department of Veterans Affairs with having Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and depression.

In 2009, I set out on a mission to share my personal struggles and how this new companion had helped me overcome them, with fellow military Veterans, active duty military, law enforcement, first responders, Gold Star families, those who have PTSD, TBI (traumatic Brain Injury) or Military Sexual Trauma (MST.) My hope and prayer is that Companions for Heroes (C4H) will aid them in their recovery and, at the same time, save our nation’s shelter and rescue animals. This is two lives served.

Today I live with my son, Dax, and daughter, Mabel, along with our rescued Service Dog Darby.


Service Area:
Healing Paws for Warriors

Our Mission

  • Healing Paws for Warriors is a local veteran found / veteran led 501(c)(3) that provides rescue to trained service dogs to combat veterans faced with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and/or Military Sexual Trauma (MST) at “no cost” to the veteran with continued support; reducing the statistic of veteran suicide, increasing self and family health and wellness.  A resilient program that represents veterans helping veterans from personal experience and trained service dogs.

  • Our staff is comprised of a combat medical war veteran, practicing PTSD therapist, professional service dog trainer, a veterinarian, and many other supportive volunteers.

  • Our dogs come only from local rescues.  Our service dog trainer teaches the dogs and the veterans as a team.  The dogs are not pets, they are service dogs with the complete protection and rights granted by the American with Disabilities Act.

  • We are devoted to pairing and training service dogs with veterans at NO COST to the veteran to enroll!

Our Goal

  • Bringing awareness to veteran suicide; reducing the numbers one dog at a time.

  • Give hope and healing to Veterans and rescue dogs through empowering military heroes to return to civilian life with dignity and independence

  • Express gratitude to those who have served, or are serving our great country.

  • Reduce number of canines in shelters; ending pet homelessness.


Service Area:

501(c)(3) Mission to provide service dogs for veterans and first responders. Heeling is Healing.


Service Area: