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Provide the necessary funding to veterans returning to civilian life who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, military sexual trauma, and other invisible disabilities the ability to train with their dog in a qualified service dog training program. The goal is for them to graduate from this one (1) year program with a service dog that is fully trained to help them transition back into civilian life with the ability to handle their invisible disability. The long term goal is for these veterans to become healthy, productive participants in civilian life.
Program Successes
- RRUFF Dog Park Opened December 2011.
- The Special Needs Area for the Healing Heroes Program was completed in January 2014 - This is a 30' x 60' fenced area, with a concrete perimeter, Artificial K9 Turf and a 20'x30' Shade Structure, benches, watering station and small garden. Over $25,000 was raised to complete this project.
- Healing Heroes began awarding scholarships in 2015.
- As of December 31, 2018 over 104 disabled veterans have been given the opportunity to participate in the program.
- Healing Heroes has fully funded three (3) classes on the American River College Campus and has a fourth class scheduled for 2019. Each class accommodates up to 10 veterans who are students at the college as well as non students when space allows. The first graduating class in 2017 had a 77% graduation rate.
- Classes are scheduled every year at Pet Food Express in Roseville. The next class begins January 2019.
- Beale Air Force Base class began July 2018 with nine (9) veterans enrolled. This class was a pilot program in conjunction with Beale AFB to provide service dog training to newly discharged military personnel or while they are in transition. The first class graduated in March, 2019 A second class will begin in June or July, 2019.
- In October 2018, a new class began in Placerville at the Veterans Center.
- Veterinary care, including but not limited to spaying/neutering, emergency services and puppy wellness packages are funded for service dogs in-training when the need arises
Funds are available to pay adoption fees from rescues, SPCA's, and breeders when the opportunity to bring a qualified dog into the program arises.
- This program has improved, and even saved, the lives of the veterans who benefit from the service dog training. The long-term success can only be measured as these brave veterans return to civilian life as fully functioning contributors to a society who owes them a considerable debt for securing our freedom.