War Vets Heal With the Help of Shelter Dogs

 
$264,098
$85,902
Raised
Remaining
Alice plea on Facebook
Alice plea on Facebook

Alone, afraid, and pregnant, Alice was labeled aggressive and scheduled to be euthanized. Little did she know, her luck was getting ready to change because of just one person.

Meghan is a volunteer at the San Bernardino City Shelter, a shelter that kills over 18,000 animals per year due to lack of space and budget restrictions. The shelter is old, rat infested and always full. Meghan spends her days looking at faces that may never have a second chance for a loving home. She networks the healthy, adoptable dogs and cats, hoping to find a home or rescue group to take them in.

Although she was labeled aggressive, Meghan took the time to take Alice out of her kennel and spend some time with her, she found out that Alice was not aggressive, just scared and shy. Meghan took a photo of Alice and posted it on Facebook, asking for someone to please give this girl a chance. Thanks to the actions of one person, Alice got that chance.

Canines With a Cause (CWAC) was looking for a smaller German Sheppard mix for a veteran in the program, Alice seemed like a fit. She was rescued from the shelter and put in a boarding facility until she could hitch a ride to Utah. Luckily, Best Friends Animal Society had room on a “Pup My Ride” transport staying overnight at the CWAC facility and Alice was soon on her way.

Upon her arrival it was obvious Alice was ready to have pups. She soon left the facility to stay with Heather and Dr. Erickson and give birth to eight beautiful, chubby, healthy puppies.

Alice took a leave of absence from training in the CWAC program to nurture and raise the puppies, she was a wonderful mom. When the pups were old enough to find homes of their own, CWAC had a wait listing. Thanks again to Facebook, Alice and her brood had quite a following.

Thanks to the actions of one person, these puppies all have happy lives with families who love them.

Alice started training with local volunteers, she was still a little timid, but had made great progress living with the Erickson’s. Her body started to fill out and get healthy, her fur sleek and shiny, Alice was a beautiful German Sheppard.

When she was ready, Alice starting coming to class at Utah Valley University, training with a veteran and his family. The veteran had returned home from his final tour of duty with PTSD, working with the CWAC dogs and including his family was helping him deal with the stress of returning home and transiting back to everyday life.

It was at this class that Alice found her future partner, a veteran who served in both the Vietnam and the Gulf Wars. He fell in love with this amazing girl and soon they were training together. Alice now has the appropriate name of Valor, a name she truly deserves.

Because of one person, Valor now has a home of her own with a loving family and a war hero has a very special best friend.

Valor in training
Valor in training

Links:

Romeo training at Salt Lake City VA class
Romeo training at Salt Lake City VA class

Robert Harding joined the Army fresh out of high school because he felt a sense of duty to protect his family and nation after the 9-11 attack. While on patrol in a Humvee in Iraq, Robert sustained injuries from a roadside bomb.

By the time he returned home after his second combat tour, Robert was having nightmares every night, not sleeping for days. Robert was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), a severe anxiety disorder characterized by nightmares, hyper-vigilance and flashbacks, an invisible wound.

Unfortunately, this is a story we hear all too often from the veterans reaching out to Canines With a Cause (CWAC) for the help, comfort and unconditional love that our shelter dogs bring them.

Thanks to the support of caring donors like you, CWAC has been able to expand our placement and train-the trainer program to three areas in Northern Utah.

Through the support of the VA Center in Provo, we have a wonderful space available at Utah Valley University for veterans to train their own service dogs and recently returned combat veterans to train for other veterans not able to participate due to physical restrictions.

Our program is going strong in Salt Lake City. To date, we have placed over 100 dogs from high-kill shelters in loving homes. Our vets are helping the dogs become more adoptable and find loving homes. Training the dogs gives the vets a sense of purpose and helps them transition back into civilian life, especially when the dog is being trained to help another veteran or special needs child.

Planning is currently underway for a program in the Ogden area, the need is great as Hill Air Force Base is located nearby and demand has been overwhelming. The vets living in this area have been commuting to Salt Lake City, difficult for those who rely on mass transit due to their PTSD.

Special Story!-Eight weeks ago one of our shelter dogs arrived from California ready to give birth. She was on death row in the San Bernardino shelter due to her condition and we just couldn't let this special girl and her babies die. Alice gave birth to eight fat, healthy CWAC-ette's, mom and babies are doing well.

In just a few days, CWAC has the opportunity to significantly increase our funding through the Global Giving Matching Day on June 13th. Starting at 12:01 am EDT GlobalGiving will match 50% of all donations made through www.globalgiving.org up to $1,000 per donor. Please get your donations in as matching will last until funds run out or until 11:59 pm EDT

Please LIKE and follow our progress through our Facebook page and website. 

We could not accomplish any of this without your support!

Sincerely,

Cathy King


Trainer Shaun Woodard at Utah Valley University
Trainer Shaun Woodard at Utah Valley University
Trainer Astrid Smith
Trainer Astrid Smith
Micheal and Bernie
Micheal and Bernie
Alice and pups
Alice and pups

Links:

Starting at 12:00 am EDT on March 14th, GlobalGiving will be matching all donations made through www.globalgiving.org up to $1,000 per donor at 30%. Matching will last until funds run out or until 11:59 pm EDT. Please take advantage of this great opportunity to make your much needed donations mean even more to our program. The organization that raises the most funds on Bonus Day will receive an additional $1,000 from GlobalGiving. The organization that has the most unique donors on Bonus Day will receive an additional $1,000 from GlobalGiving.Donations made on www.globalgiving.co.uk or any GlobalGiving corporate sites (including Nike, Eli Lilly, Global Action Atlas, etc) are NOT eligible for matching.

As we expand our training program to accommodate the veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, the demand for dogs and training classes is increasing. This means more vet bills, more hours for trainers and more funds needed to keep our program afloat. Please take this opportunity to make your dollars go further for our country's veterans and the dogs that mean so much to them. 

Thank you for your support,

Cathy King

Links:

confidence building
confidence building

"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give" Winston Churchill

Special thanks to everyone who gave to Canines With a Cause during the holiday promotion, we received a $500 bonus for being one of the top sites for individual donors for the month. We are so honored and proud!

2011 was an incredible year for the organization and 2012 is unfolding to be even more exciting and beneficial to shelter dogs and the veterans whose lives are changed by their unconditional love. We have several new exciting program ready to begin this month.

The first one is offering training classes in several new geographic areas making it easier for those veterans interested in the program to get to a class. We will be offering classes at several colleges in the northern region of Utah and south of Salt Lake City. The veterans will be training dogs for themselves or other veterans/people in need. One of our pups with a purpose found her new home last week with two special young girls, they both have Spinal Bifida, this pup brings them so much joy. When Jesse the mutt puppy gets older, she will train with our vets to do special tasks for the girls like bringing them items and helping them in their wheelchairs.

Another exciting program for the canines will be training at the National Ability Center with the Wounded Warrior Program and Community Based Warrior Transition Units. Our goal is to help veterans transition back into family and civilian life and learn about dogs and training. http://discovernac.org

Canines With a Cause has joined forces with Pets for Patriots, a program that creates unique opportunities for members of the military community to save a life by honorably adopting homeless adult dogs and cats. They support member Patriot adoptions of adult shelter pets, large dogs and special needs animals – those most in need of a loving, forever home – from member shelters. Several of our Diamonds in the Ruff have found wonderful homes thanks to this partnership www.petsforpatriots.org

All of this is because of you, we could accomplish what we have or move forward with these valuable programs without your financial support. 

Thank you,

Cathy King

Links:

soldier and dog
soldier and dog

As the holiday season approaches, finding the perfect gift for friends and family can become a chore. Most all of us have plenty of "stuff", this year give something meaningful, make a major difference in the life of a veteran suffering with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. A gift of unconditional love, companionship, life, the gift of a companion dog. You will also be saving the life of a dog close to seeing their final days at an animal shelter for no reason other than they ended up in a crowded shelter.

Starting November 23rd and ending December 31st, Global Giving donors can make a donation to this project as a gift to friends and family? GlobalGiving will send the gift recipient an email, print-at-home, or physical tribute card.
This holiday season, they’re giving away $10,000 in bonus awards to the top 15 projects with the most donors who make donations as gifts.

Please let people know how much you care, give them a gift that will let them know they're making a difference.

"I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catchers mitt on both hands.  You need to be able to throw something back."  - Maya Angelou

Happy Holidays!

Cathy King

 


Links:

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Project Leader

Cathy King

Park City, UT United States

Where is this project located?

Map of War Vets Heal With the Help of Shelter Dogs