A Program of the Avenue of 444 Flags Foundation
to select, train, and place Companion Dogs with veterans
The best solutions are those that help solve two problems at once. For example, 1) some veterans can benefit from dog ownership; and 2 ) pet rescue units and shelters have lots of dogs, some of which can be trained to assist veterans in a number of ways. Double solution: take suitable dogs from the rescue units and shelters, train them, and place them as emotional support dogs with veterans who need and want them.
About the dogs
Of course, not every dog is suitable, so available dogs must be screened for health, personality, and ability to learn. Selected dogs are placed with foster “parents” for two to four months of training and further evaluation.
The program is not intended to produce qualified service dogs; such dogs require as much as two or more years of training by professional trainers. But our dogs can be of great value to their owners because of their good manners, loving personalities, and ability to obey basic commands.
About the veterans
Just as not every dog is suitable for this program, not every veteran who applies for a dog will receive one from us. The safety and welfare of the dog as well as of the veteran are our primary concerns. We will evaluate applicants and the environments into which the dogs will be placed. We must be sure that the dog will be treated with love and respect, and will receive proper care. The home must be one in which both dog and owner can thrive.
[Closing paragraph explaining how to apply, maybe with a downloadable form. Maybe also an application for people (like King’s owners) to provide a dog to the program]