Patriot Rover dogs are acquired from a variety of facilities and donors, many even rescues. N.C. has one of the highest euthanasia rates in the country, and we believe dog rescue is an important contribution our organization makes to the state. Patriot Rover puppies are carefully evaluated for suitability prior to acceptance into our program and closely monitored and evaluated frequently throughout their involvement in the Patriot Rovers training program.
We have found that Golden Retrievers, both pure and mixed breeds, have the best temperament for work as service dogs. Patriot Rovers will use Labradors or Lab mixes on some occasions. We have a limited capacity for rescuing and housing our Rovers, so we are not able to take in every dog that is offered to us. Although we must turn away some dogs for our mission, we fully support and encourage the rescue and adoption of all homeless dogs.
We provide health care to our pups, including spay/neutering, housing and socialization until they are old enough to begin training. During this time we are able to evaluate the personalities of our pups to make sure they are suitable for the Patriot Rover program. In the rare event a dog is not a good match for our program, we place the dog into a loving home as a pet.
Patriot Rovers are highly skilled dogs and given a final evaluation of their service dog tasks prior to leaving with their owner on graduation day. Additionally, Patriot Rover trainers do periodic checks with the veterans and an annual reunion allows opportunities for brush up or advanced training as well as celebration and reconnection with other veterans, Rovers and Gold Star families.