Patriot Rovers is a nonprofit 501(c)3 that provides canine therapy using trained Psychiatric Service Dogs for military veterans who suffer from PTSD and/or Traumatic Brain Injury. The program is free for veterans.
Patriot Rovers is committed to acquiring, housing, nurturing, rehabilitating, vaccinating, spaying, neutering, training and socializing dogs in order to qualify them as Psychiatric Service Dogs that will perform medical alert and response in addition to specific tasks for Veterans.
- We train dogs.
- To assist Veterans who are suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and/ or traumatic brain injury as a result of military service.
- We honor heroes by naming the dogs, at the request of Gold Star families, after their loved one who has made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country.
Training Dogs to Become Psychiatric Service Dogs
We train dogs through our Rover Academy. Training of the dogs is first performed on a basic level and then moves towards customized training focused on socialization and performance of specific tasks. This training is vital in order to ensure the dog is fit and ready to perform all assistance required of a Psychiatric Service Dog. We train all dogs to perform specific tasks under the American with Disabilities Act (ADA). These tasks include, but are not limited to, brace, get help, lights, doors, pull, dress, retrieve, reverse – all standard service dog tasks.
Additional Psychiatric Service Dog tasks include medical alert and response, tactile stimulation, alerting, interrupting, stabilizing, calming, waking, initiate activity, initiate interpersonal interaction, and the creation of personal space. Additional non-task functions include providing a veteran with constant 24-hour reassuring, unconditional love and companionship.
Extensive training is provided to the veteran in basic dog care, dog behavior and other handling skills before the dog is released in their care.
We name our dogs after fallen soldiers with the aid of the Gold Star Families. Patriot Rovers facilitates meetings between the Gold Star families and the veteran-dog team as a part of our healing mission. The relationships that develop have proven to be a treasured part of our healing mission.
Lifetime Support, opportunities for further training in dog care and training, regular camaraderie building events and volunteer service are integral components of the Patriot Rovers program.
Building and sustaining a network of support for the veterans is created as we bring them and their dogs together on a quarterly basis. The outreach does not cease when the Vet and their companion are united. Offering a network of support, the veterans will begin to form relationships with others who have had similar experiences thereby strengthening their ability to re-integrate within their communities.
Planned Workforce Training
A future anticipated expansion of Patriot Rovers is to expand the organization into workforce training allowing us to train and offer an option for employment to our veterans. A majority of veterans who return from the battle field have much difficulty re-entering the work force and need purpose and constructive use of their time. We offer these veterans a way to give back to their communities and their families by gaining employment caring for and training our service dogs for other veterans in need.