Jun 8, 2022 - News

K9s for Warriors opens in Phoenix to train service dogs for veterans

A woman with her arms around an Aussie-cattle dog mix.
K9s for Warriors Phoenix campus director Paige Wood and the orignization's first service-dog candidate Jada. Photo: Jessica Boehm/Axios

K9s for Warriors, which connects veterans with service dogs, opened a branch in Phoenix earlier this year. The nonprofit is now training former shelter dogs to help those who've served their country.

  • The group has paired 730 veterans with service dogs nationwide.
  • The waitlist for veterans is currently four years, but the organization hopes to speed that up by adding the Phoenix location.

How it works: K9s for Warriors pulls dogs from local shelters that have service potential and teaches them to follow commands that will help veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder

  • Trained dogs can clear crowds if a veteran is claustrophobic and will sit facing behind their owner to alert if anyone approaches.

What she's saying: "You can't even imagine these men and women that are paired with the dog and how they describe their love for the dog and how the dog helps them," Phoenix campus director Paige Wood said.

A pupdate: Not all of the dogs the organization rescues end up qualifying as service dogs, but they're still "perfectly adoptable, lovely family dogs," Wood said.

  • For example, Carmel (the labrador retriever-mix Jessica fell in love with instantly) didn't qualify for service because he's a bit territorial over his toys when other dogs are around. But, he's a total lovebug with humans, Jessica confirmed.
  • Carmel and his "career-changed" friends are available on PetFinder.
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