K-9 ‘Battle Buddies’ helping vets recover after service - KPTV - FOX 12

K-9 ‘Battle Buddies’ helping vets recover after service

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Service veterans can connect with the Northwest Battle Buddies to be paired with a service dog to help them feel more comfortable coming home. (KPTV) Service veterans can connect with the Northwest Battle Buddies to be paired with a service dog to help them feel more comfortable coming home. (KPTV)
BATTLE GROUND, WA (KPTV) -

Crowded places, familiar sounds and even a plane going by can still trigger memories of war for some veterans.

An organization from Battle Ground hopes to help these soldiers feel more comfortable coming home by using man’s best friend.

Shannon Walker is the owner of Northwest Battle Buddies. She says the goal of her operations is to serve those who served our country.

“I learned about the suicide rate of 22 veterans a day, and I saw the difference that a highly trained dog, I saw the difference it could make in somebody’s life, and to help bring health and healing and independence,” she said.

The oldest dogs are just two years old. Some are from breeders, but most are rescue dogs.

They go through 300 hours of training with Walker and her team, and then another 50 with their new owners.

“I look at the applications, I look at the dogs, I look at the lifestyles, the strengths and weaknesses and I pair them together the best I can so it is successful,” she explained.

For the last part of their training these dogs ride the MAX and go through airport security with their soon-to-be owners by their side.

For the veterans, the dogs can be the lifeline they need.

“I know I can go out and do my daily routine, and if there’s a problem I know she’s going to help me out,” one said.

To learn more about the program, including how to donate, visit NorthwestBattleBuddies.org.

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