Written by Diane Baren for the Crockett Foundation – January 2017
I care a lot about Veterans and a good number them have Service Dogs. So I’ve joined some Service Dog groups on Facebook. Sometimes Veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in these groups speak up – so being there is an opportunity for me to learn about those conditions.
[Service Dogs vs. Therapy Dogs? Check-out this article https://crockettfoundation.com/service-dog-etiquette-us-average-dog-lovers/ .]
Following is an alphabetical sampling of pages and membership groups currently out there on Facebook about Service Dogs.
I’ve included their stated missions. Some focus specifically on Veterans with PTSD. Some are about the policies and Service Dog benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs – a good place to keep track of coverage changing for our Veterans. Some are associated with Veterans Charities. There are 2 groups that are much larger in membership than the others – and I’ve included their numbers in case you’d like to go straight to the largest groups when checking these out on Facebook.
- 4 Paws 4 Patriots Service Dogs for Veterans (page). Mission: “4 Paws 4 Patriots is a non-profit organization created to provide service dogs and training to disabled veterans at no cost to the veteran.” https://www.facebook.com/4Paws4Patriots/about/
- Americans Supporting Veterans with Service Dogs (public group). Description: “This Group is for those Americans who strongly believe in the importance of supporting Our Veterans and the Service Dogs that give their all to support them.” https://www.facebook.com/groups/VeteransServiceDogs/
- Dogs for Veterans (page). Mission: “To utilize the “Shelter to Service Dog” model developed at Best Friends Animal Society in Kanab, Utah. Our Dogs for Veterans program focuses on selecting dogs from the many homeless and abandoned dogs currently in shelters and rescues across the United States.” https://www.facebook.com/veterandog/
- Florida Veterans with Service Dogs (public group). Description” “FVSD is an interactive networking group of Veterans with service dogs, and their supporters. We provide Veterans and their K-9 partners an interactive social media platform to connect with other Veterans with service dogs in the State of Florida, as well as educate the general public in the importance of using service animals to assist with disabilities.” https://www.facebook.com/groups/484669005018835/
- Freedom Service Dogs of America (page). Mission: “The mission of Freedom Service Dogs of America is to enhance the lives of people with disabilities by rescuing dogs and custom training them for individual client needs.” https://www.facebook.com/FreedomServiceDogs/about/
- Patriot Paws Service Dogs (page). Mission: “The mission of Patriot PAWS is to train and provide service dogs of the highest quality at no cost to disabled American veterans and others with mobile disabilities in order to help restore their physical and emotional independence. Patriot PAWS intends to build partnerships with state and community organizations to help develop and support this goal.” https://www.facebook.com/PatriotPAWS/about/
[ Check-out this post about the difference between Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and the highly common Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) https://crockettfoundation.com/ptsd-vs-common-pts/ .]
- Service Dogs and the Department of Veterans Affairs (closed group). Description: “A place to share information about the progress of the VA in providing service dogs for PTSD and TBI.” https://www.facebook.com/groups/ServiceDogs4Veterans/
- Service Dogs for Disabled Americans – Veterans & Civilians – Supporting SDs (closed group). Description: “This is a non-judgmental open forum where all things regarding Service Dogs for Veterans and Civilians can be discussed. Please be kind and respectful in your postings.” https://www.facebook.com/groups/469335989755316/
- Service Dogs for Veterans with PTSD (page). Mission: “Work to get a National program via the VA and a National Org so that Veterans w/PTSD can get a Service Dog.” https://www.facebook.com/Dogs4PTSDVets/
- Service Dogs for Invisible Disabilities (closed group, over 16k members). Description: This group description consists of a list of 23 rules for conduct in the group. It’s very well organized. https://www.facebook.com/groups/110181312493575/permalink/720326231479077/
- Service Dogs for Hidden Disabilities (closed group, nearly 3k members). Description: “Welcome to SDFHD (Service Dogs for Hidden Disabilities) Here you can post your training tips/photos and videos! We will also have a monthly give away which will be posted in this section with what the contest is and the prize. (It is ALWAYS going to be a photo contest 😉 so have your cameras ready!)” https://www.facebook.com/groups/ServiceDogsforHiddenDisabilities/
- Veteran & Hero’s – Service Dogs Support (private group). Description: “We are a group of GSD lovers and Service Dog handlers. Some of us train, some of us benefit from but all of us know that a service dog is more than just a dog! If you need help with training or just have questions about how service dogs help us please ask. All are welcome!” https://www.facebook.com/groups/GSDservicedogs/
The Crockett Foundation’s focus has become service to US Military Veterans in a special package of ways that we feel passionate about. Check-out our mission.
You may donate to the Crockett Foundation Veterans charity and help cover the costs to train Certified Service Dogs for Veterans.