Warrior Buddies Adoption Program:

Bringing Unconditional Love to our Nation’s Heroes

Warrior buddiesThis program is designed to bring unconditional love and companionship in the form adoptable shelter pets to our wounded warriors in Prince William County. After reading about other organizations with similar missions, we decided that our proximity to Quantico Marine Base and Ft. Belvoir Military Hospital would be a perfect fit to establish a similar adoption program for our wounded Veterans outside the Beltway. Through a coalition with the Prince William Vietnam Veterans, Warrior Research Foundation and experienced local dog trainers working with the military bases and medical facilities, we have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of our local military heroes and our wonderful adoptable pets.

Participants in similar programs point out “medications help in recovery from 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.”

warrior-buddies-4 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 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, July, 2012. Kona, a homeless shelter dog that had been mistreated and caged up for the first nine months of his life was hoping & 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 at 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.

Ours is a two phase program whereby we offer discounted adoption fees to former or active military and family members for any homeless pet at the Shelter.  The second phase is available to Wounded Warriors, former or active, who are desiring the love and companionship our homeless pets can offer. These individuals are afforded free adoption, spay/neuter, training (if desired) and other benefits.  Our Warrior Buddies Adoption Program has been very successful since we launched in March with 110 of our beautiful pets going home with new military families & 8 Shelter dogs becoming Warrior Buddies for our Wounded Warriors.  We are currently working on expanding our program even further by partnering with other like minded groups, trainers and sponsors to identify potential service dogs from our Shelter to be trained for our Wounded Warriors who so desperately need the assistance.  If you know anyone who would benefit from our Warrior Buddies Adoption Program, please contact Beate Begley at the Prince William County Animal Shelter for additional information and application. We Thank You For Your Service!

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