The Prince William Humane Society (PWHS) Warrior Buddies Program is designed to improve the morale and welfare of our veterans and their families by bringing them unconditional love and companionship in the form of adoptable shelter pets. This program has two separate components to help us accomplish this goal.
The Wounded Heroes Free Adoption Program works with wounded service members whose case workers feel that a service/assistance dog would be of benefit in their therapy and recovery. The clinic case worker refers the service member to our program and after an interview process, our trainers screen the dogs at local shelters to find the perfect service/assistance dog. Our professional and certified trainers work exclusively with the team training the dog to the specific needs of the individual and assuring a cohesive bond between the two. The adoptions are free to qualified participants and include the adoption fee, spay/neuter, all vaccinations, a wellness check, a microchip and training.
After learning about the demand for service dogs for our injured troops returning home and the excessive cost and wait time involved in this process, we decided that Prince William County’s proximity to Quantico Marine Base and Fort Belvoir Military Hospital would be a perfect fit to establish a program for wounded veterans. We created a program designed to help speed up the process, save the lives of homeless shelter pets and do so at no cost to participants. Through a coalition with local shelters, professional dog trainers, military bases and medical facilities, we now have the opportunities to make a difference in the lives of military service members and wonderful adoptable shelter pets.
Participants in similar programs point out “medications help in recovery from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder ( PTSD), but they are not the whole solution; animals can do what drugs cannot by playing an active therapeutic role in a veteran’s recovery, offering the sort of non-judgmental love and unconditional support that the mending combat heroes need.”
This program has proven to be a mutually beneficial one. Our nation’s heroes are provided with a loving companion for healing, but they in turn give our animals what they need most in the world: a home where they will be appreciated for who they are and finally receive the love they so deserve.
We’d like to you to meet Patrick Smyth and his Warrior Buddy, Kona. Patrick was referred to the Warrior Buddies Adoption Program after suffering a traumatic brain injury and PTSD from a roadside bombing in Afghanistan in 2012. Kona, a homeless shelter dog that had been mistreated and caged up for the first nine months of life was hoping and praying for a chance at a new life and a forever someone to love him. Our trainer saw the potential in Kona and introduced the two. It was love and first sight, with Kona hugging, kissing and acting like he’d known Patrick forever. It was obvious that Kona had chosen Patrick to be his Warrior Buddy and Patrick felt the same. He asked that he be allowed to work with Kona and they have been inseparable ever since. Patrick says “It was like a spark happened and then blazed into a roaring fire.” The two are finishing their training and will soon be a full-time working service team.
The second component of the Program is the Warrior Buddies Military Family Adoption Program. The Prince William Humane Society believes that military families also deserve the love and companionship only pets can provide. So we offer military family adoptions at half price for any homeless pet in the Prince William County Animal Shelter.
Both of these programs are available due to a generous community whose donations and efforts are offered out of love and respect for our troops and our homeless pets looking for a forever home and someone to share their love! We are thrilled to report that as of December 2017, we have placed 408 homeless dogs and cats with military families and created 19 service dog teams.
If you know anyone who would benefit from our Warrior Buddies Program, please contact the Prince William Humane Society for additional information.
Please help…your donations and sponsorship can make this dream a reality! If you are a qualified trainer, dog handler, or behaviorists and are willing to donate your time, please contact us at email@example.com.
We are now accepting applications for foster parents for Warrior Buddies canine candidates. There will be a very limited number of individuals selected to foster these special dogs. If you are interested in becoming a foster for these dogs, please click on the link at the top of the page and email: firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: Warrior Buddies Foster.