Shari Duval volunteered for years with veteran charities around Jacksonville, Florida. When her son returned home from two tours as a bomb dog handler with the Department of the Army, he was suffering from PTSD, “an invisible disorder” that turns the lives of those who serve upside down.
While searching for ways to help her son on the road to recovery, she found information on the profound healing many warriors experienced using service animals. In 2011, after a lot of research, Shari founded K9s For Warriors. Her organization provides service K9s to both active duty and veteran warriors suffering from PTSD, TBI, and other trauma as a result of military service post 9/11.
Shari and her team of professionals have created a place where warriors can apply to come and stay for three weeks to help with the training of their service dog. Almost all of their service dogs are rescues from shelters, and they are professionally trained alongside their warriors, giving them both the tools they need to get back to living life.
In May of 2015, K9s For Warriors opened a new and expanded facility in Florida, dubbed “Camp K9”, to help meet the overwhelming need they have encountered for the service they provide. All costs for warriors are covered by a combination of corporate support and individual donations. Since 2011, K9s For Warriors have brought together 165 warrior-canine teams and they expect to increase their numbers with their larger facility.
A transparent and focused organization, K9s For Warriors offer numerous ways for people to donate, participate, and advocate for their organization. Visit k9sforwarriors.com to learn more about how you can help or to apply for their services. Help spread the message of hope through the “new leash” on life they provide for soldiers and veterans.