K9s For Warriors Recognizes New York Mets All-Star Pete Alonso and his Foundation for Sponsoring the Training of a Service Dog for a Military Veteran

The Alonso Foundation and the New York Mets welcome Service Dog in training Bear to spring training home in Florida


Pete Alonso meets Service Dog in training Bear.

PORT ST. LUCIE (Feb. 28, 2023) – Pete Alonso, the superstar New York Mets first baseman nicknamed the Polar Bear, is known for breaking the rookie homerun record in the major leagues. Today, Alonso along with his wife Haley and Bear, a black Labrador retriever training to become a Service Dog, are helping raise awareness for life-saving services for military veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, or military sexual trauma.

K9s For Warriors is training Bear to become a Service Dog for a veteran in need through a sponsorship by the Alonso Foundation, who today introduced the affectionate canine at the Mets spring training home in Port St. Lucie.

“Far too many veterans, who have bravely served our country, are struggling with invisible wounds of war. K9s For Warriors along with Pete and Haley Alonso and their foundation are dedicated to helping them pursue better lives with respect and dignity,” K9s For Warriors CEO Carl Cricco said. “We are extremely grateful to Pete and his foundation for their generous donation and commitment to helping us continue our mission to end veteran suicide.”

“It is so great to have Bear out at the ballpark and see his development of the training he has received from the incredible staff at K9s For Warriors. We are looking forward to the day he will be ready to be paired with a veteran in need,” said New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso. “Service Dogs like Bear literally change the lives of veterans struggling with PTSD or worse, and the fact that we can assist is truly inspiring.”

Pete and Haley Alonso and the Alonso Foundation are dedicated to honoring veterans and helping K9s For Warriors continue its mission to end veteran suicide through the use of highly trained Service Dogs.

It is estimated that nearly 20 veterans die by suicide daily, and that more than one million veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, Vietnam, and other conflicts suffer from PTSD, TBI or MST. Through academic research from University of Arizona’s OHAIRE Lab, Service Dogs like Bear have proven to save veteran lives. The physiological changes Service Dogs bring about in K9s For Warriors’ graduates enable them to thrive, while limiting or eliminating the need for pharmaceuticals that only help them cope.

As the nation’s largest shelter-to-Service Dog organization, K9s For Warriors rescues dogs from high-kill shelters, trains them and pairs them with veterans afflicted with the invisible, psychological wounds of war who are often at great and immediate risk of suicide. K9s For Warriors saves the dog, and the dog then saves the veteran. K9s For Warriors has rescued more than 2,000 dogs and paired nearly 850 veterans with Service Dogs.

K9s For Warriors has previously partnered with sports organizations like the Washington Commanders and Jacksonville Jaguars of the NFL, and athletes like Lance McCullers Jr. of the Houston Astros to sponsor Service Dogs for veterans in need.

To learn more and support the nonprofit’s programs, visit K9s For Warriors.


About K9s For Warriors

Determined to end veteran suicide, K9s For Warriors is the nation’s largest provider of trained Service Dogs to military veterans suffering from PTSD, traumatic brain injury and/or military sexual trauma. With most dogs coming from high-kill rescue shelters, this innovative program allows the K9/Warrior team to build an unwavering bond that facilitates their collective healing and recovery.

This treatment method is backed by scientific research (from University of Arizona’s OHAIRE Lab) demonstrating Service Dogs’ ability to help mitigate their veteran’s symptoms of PTSD while simultaneously restoring their confidence and independence. Founded in 2011 as a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization, K9s For Warriors remains committed to bringing widespread awareness to veterans’ mental health and contributing to policy-level reform. The organization’s operation facilities include: K9s For Warriors National Headquarters (Ponte Vedra, FL) Davis Family Mega Kennel (Ponte Vedra, FL) Gold Family Campus (Alachua, FL) Petco Love K9 Center (San Antonio, Texas) and Warrior Ranch (Helotes, Texas).

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About The Alonso Foundation

The Alonso Foundation aims to be the voice for those who can’t speak up for themselves, partnering with organizations that are advocating for and providing relief to those in need.  We vow to create lasting change in this world.  We partner with extraordinary organizations around the country to provide direct support in each of these areas and more. The donations we make are typically unrestricted to offer other nonprofits the flexible funding needed most to scale their work in service of those that need it most. Additionally, we work with educators, legislators, and stakeholders at the state and local levels to work to drive the policy changes that will create positive impact.

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Request A Tour

Thank you for your interest in touring our National Headquarters in Ponte Vedra, FL. K9s For Warriors is a residential training facility. Our Warriors live on our campus for 21 days while learning to work with their new Service Dogs. To respect our Warriors privacy, we are unable to accommodate field trips, large group outings, and large parties. Additionally, some of the tour information may not be suitable for children.

Help save two lives — a  dog & a Veteran.

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