Patriot Service Dogs is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit that trains dogs to help military veterans who have been disabled attain a sense of independence. Founded in July 2009, the organization has offices in Jacksonville and Belleview, FL. They currently have about 100 volunteers and are always looking for more, including grant writers, event coordinators and puppy raisers and trainers. Being a puppy trainer requires a two year commitment.
Service dogs are trained to perform tasks for people who are visually impaired, hearing impaired and physically impaired, including those who use wheelchairs or have lost limbs. The dogs can sense when someone is about to have a seizure and alert them. They also can be trained to work with people who have post-traumatic stress disorder to help them feel safe in unfamiliar or confusing settings.
Patriot Service Dogs are placed with military service personnel from around the country who have those and similar challenges. Some are still active in the military while others are retired or medically discharged.
The organization, which has an active and dedicated board of directors, is 100 percent volunteer and is funded by grants, private donations and fundraising activities.
For more information, visit the website www.patriotservicedogs.org.