SAN ANTONIO – K9s for Warriors is a nonprofit organization that partners service dogs with veterans to help treat service-connected trauma like PTSD.
The goal of the organization is to prevent veteran suicides.
K9s for Warriors has a new facility here in Military City U.S.A. and hopes to help as many local veterans as possible.
“I served in the Army for 20 years, just shy of 27 years, served all over the world, basically. But (in) combat I was in Afghanistan,” Army veteran Bob Jones said.
Jones goes few places without his service dog, Grace.
“She has been my lifeline,” he said. “She alerts me when I’ve been triggered by something and I don’t realize I’ve been triggered, whether it’s been a memory or something I see along the side of the road or something. She grounds me and brings me back to the here and now.”
Jones met Grace through the K9s for Warriors program about five years ago — and she changed his life.
“It is a proven, scientifically proven service. Dogs reduce symptoms of PTSD. I am off all my medications now and I am reengaged with society,” Jones said.
This new facility is on Highway 151 right next to the Animal Care Services.
“We’re going to be saving dogs from Animal Control Services, training them to be amazing service dogs and pairing with warriors right here in San Antonio,” Rory Diamond, the CEO of K9s for Warriors, said.
The program gets the pups to full health then trains them for six to eight months to be a service dog.
“We can save about 30 dogs at a time, so maybe 200 in a year,” he said. “And that’ll probably turn out to be about 80 service dogs for veterans right here in Texas.”
The hope is to form 80 relationships just like the one between Jones and Grace.
“She literally saved my life. Approximately 20 veterans a day are committing suicide to PTSD symptoms. And this is a challenge of that. And hopefully we can reverse that,” Jones said.
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