Return to Life with Dignity and Independence
A New Leash On Life
Service-related trauma keeps veterans from living the life they deserve. They fought for our freedom. We fight for theirs. Our primary focus is to restore and support our veterans who have PTSD, traumatic brain injury (TBI), or military sexual trauma (MST). For veterans who are willing to take the first step to regain independence in their life, we are here to help.
Our team supports veterans by navigating our scientifically proven process, pairing them with a trained Service Dog, and supporting them during and after the program.
K9 Treatment For Survival
K9s For Warriors is the nation’s largest veteran service organization focused on providing highly trained Service Dogs to Warriors. Our program is focused on mitigating the debilitating symptoms of service-connected traumas. We validate our methods through tireless research and make breakthroughs every day. Successfully guiding a veteran through the K9s For Warriors program and providing them with a Service Dog doesn’t just change the Warrior’s life. It saves it.
The majority of our K9s are rescued from shelters. In saving these animals from abandonment or euthanasia, we give them purpose. Each pair who graduates from our program represent two lives saved – the Service Dog and the Warrior.
The first step is filling out a Warrior Application. From there, our Warrior Operations team will make contact and assist you through the application process. To provide the best Service Dog possible, we conduct multiple interviews, personal references checks and a background investigation to learn more about the Warrior’s disability, personality, family, and environment.
Real Warriors. Real Stories.
K9s For Warriors provides highly trained, accredited Service Dogs for service members who became disabled while serving our country. The disability does not have to be combat-related. Applicants must have a verified clinical diagnosis of PTSD, TBI, or MST to qualify for our program. At this time, K9s For Warriors does not provide Service Dogs to individuals who are legally blind, hearing impaired, or have significant mobility needs. We accept applications from all 50 states, Puerto Rico & Guam. Qualifying veterans can apply by clicking here.
The Warrior Relations department will review the application, perform a background check and conduct a phone interview with the veteran applicant to learn more about his/her disability or disabilities, as well as home and work environment, personality, and family. This information allows K9s For Warriors to determine and then train the most suitable dog for each Warrior’s needs. Once accepted into the program, a class date is scheduled. Our team remains in constant communication with veterans on the waitlist to answer any questions, provide emotional support, as well as assist with other needs. Our waiting period is approximately 16-18 months long but can change depending on a variety of factors. Our waiting period is typically shorter than those of similar agencies. If you’re ready for a Service Dog, apply by clicking here.
In total, the training program is three weeks. Warriors come to one of our two residential training facilities in Florida, either our national headquarters in Ponte Vedra or the Gold Family Campus near Gainesville. Warriors stay for the entire time to be fully immersed in the training. While at K9s For Warriors, Warriors are provided housing and meals, in addition to their daily training, all at no cost.
Day 1 expectations: When you arrive on campus, you will be greeted by a Warrior Relations team member. A personal property search will be conducted at this time. Unauthorized items may result in immediate dismissal from class. These items include Firearms, alcohol, illegal drugs (including marijuana and CBD), along with medication that is not in its original prescribed container.
K9s For Warriors prides itself in our dog pairing process. The pairing process is done by our Warrior trainers and dog trainers who consider your personality, activity level, etc., and match you with a dog who will best meet your needs.
You will not be able to choose which dog you are paired with. K9s For Warriors does not train owned pets because our dogs must meet very strict breed, height, weight, health & trainability criteria. We have more than 60 kennels that house our hand-selected dogs who are formally trained before being paired with a Warrior.
K9s For Warriors is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, and our service comes at no cost to our accepted veterans. The only cost is travel to and from our training location(s), with outside resources available to potentially assist with that.
We require a letter from your clinician stating that you have been clinically diagnosed with service-connected PTSD and/or TBI and/or MST. The letter must also state that you are both mentally & physically capable of sustaining our three week training regimen. The completed “Mental Health Verification” form must be attached and filled out by your clinician.
We require the completed “Agreement to Support” form. The veteran must provide the names and contact information of two individuals who have agreed to provide support to the Warrior/K9 team.
- We require the member 4 copy of your DD214 that shows your signature & status of discharge.
- We also require a full-length photo for identification purposes.
No, we do not allow visitors or caregivers to attend training with our Warriors. We do this to give the Warriors a chance to form a relationship with their dog without distraction. Violation of this policy will result in dismissal from the program. Family and caregivers will be invited to experience graduation on the final day of training, either virtually or in person.
Are You A Veteran Ready To Move Forward With Life?
We want to help you heal if you’re willing to take the first step.
Are you in need of other forms of support?
Visit our veteran resources page for an extensive list of organizations that support veterans and their families.