“We Serve” Feature: K9s for Warriors
As part of Floyd Lee Locums volunteerism program, “We Serve,” we encourage employees to partner with people and programs that better the communities we live in. There is no more admirable cause to fulfill that mission than the one our Learning Resource Creator, Leigh Patton-Collett, took up recently.
As a volunteer with K9s for Warriors, Leigh supports the organization in its cause to connect veterans with service dogs. Her most recent experience with the non-profit was a celebratory one, as they held the grand opening of their new mega-kennel and training facility.
“My husband, Joby, and I got to spend last Saturday afternoon with K9s for Warriors,” said Patton-Collette. “The organization pairs shelter rescue dogs with veterans who suffer from PTSD. We support their efforts in ending veteran suicide and returning our Warriors to a life of dignity and independence.”
Unfortunately, it isn’t difficult the see why this non-profit is so needed. Just by the numbers, roughly 20 veterans who served post-9/11 commit suicide daily—and around 20% of post-9/11 veterans suffer from PTSD, equating to more than 700,000 veterans. Those numbers should be sobering for any American.
That’s why, each month, veterans arrive at K9s For Warriors to take part in a three-week, in-house training program at no cost to them. K9s For Warriors provides a trained Service Dog, housing, all meals, equipment, veterinary care, and training in a welcoming environment that provides essential peer-to-peer support. As the Service Dog is already trained prior to being paired with the veteran, the three-week training period is to teach the Warrior how to use his/her Service Dog and to facilitate the bonding necessary for the two to be a successful team.
The mission also serves a dual purpose of rescuing dogs that otherwise wouldn’t have a home. In fact, almost 700,000 dogs are euthanized in shelters every year. Many of these are dogs who can be trained as Service Dogs for veterans in need.
That need is very real for people like Clay, one of K9s for Warriors veterans. As he shares, “A Service Dog is the key that unlocks the inner cage of your mind… I am able to see and feel my surroundings much more richly now that I have Rory.” That kind of testimonial warms the heart and makes us incredibly grateful to programs like K9s for Warriors who make it possible. To them and Leigh, we say, “Thank you.”
If you want to learn more about Floyd Lee Locums’ commitment to supporting charitable organizations locally and nationally, visit “We Serve,” our corporate volunteerism page or read more stories on our blog!
Learn more about our We Serve program of corporate volunteerism and community engagement.