K-9 Partners for Patriots is not the typical dog training class—veterans are pairing up with pets to help them enter back into civilian life.
Mary Peter, who has over 30 years of experience as a master dog trainer, founded the program a few years ago to help veterans struggling with PTSD and other brain related injuries.
“People would come for obedience training and I started noticing more and more veterans coming back from combat with a dog trying to get into an obedience class,” said Peter.
Before taking the class, veteran Aurthur Moore found it difficult to complete day-to-day activities.
“I would lay in bed all day, said Moore. “I would stay in the house.”
Having gone through the training program, Moore is inspired to help others by studying to become a dog trainer for veterans.
“I want to help other veterans like they’ve helped me,” said Moore. “It makes me feel good helping other people, it helps me feel good inside.”
166 veterans are in or have gone through the program. Similarly, 55 dogs have been rescued and found a new home.
“90 percent of our funding goes directly to our veterans,” Peter said. “We try to save two—a dog and veteran together.”
For Peter, helping veterans is a gift she feels honored to be a part of.
“To see and honor those who have suffered so much in service to our country—it means everything to me,” said Peter. It’s not a job to me, it’s my passion. I love each and every one of these men and women and it’s an honor to serve them and help them.”