Imagine being able to place unwanted dogs with veterans who need service animals, yet may not be able to afford the costs associated with obtaining one. That is precisely what is happening as the direct result of Ridgeside K9 training and their partnership with the Rescue 22 Foundation. In fact, they’ve been conducting a large amount of fundraising and training the dogs, which can exceed $40,000 under the right circumstances. Right now, the Rescue 22 Foundation is supplying suitable candidates for training to Ridgeside K9, who then spends approximately six to nine months training the dogs. In some cases, the training lasts for longer. In reality, it comes down to that particular dog’s personality as well as the specific thing that it is being trained for.
Different Types of Training
The officials at Ridgeside K9 say that they typically train dogs for two different categories when it comes to placing them in the homes of veterans. The first involves training dogs to help certain veterans with physical needs. These dogs typically go through the usual obedience training, then they undergo more specific training that allows them to act as mobility assistance dogs or something comparable. As such, they are able to help veterans who have lost limbs or who are suffering from decreased vision or hearing. The dogs can make their lives much easier by helping them do the types of everyday tasks that they may struggle to do on their own. By the same token, the training facility also works with dogs that are specifically trained to help people with issues like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, more commonly referred to as PTSD. Dogs that are trained in this particular division might also help veterans who have suffered a traumatic brain injury, especially if they are suffering from PTSD and a number of other mental health conditions as a direct result of it. In some rare cases, the individual in question needs a dog that is capable of helping them with both the psychiatric and the physical issues. In these cases, the dog will be trained in both divisions before being sent to that particular individual’s home.
Training That makes a Difference
Ridgeside K9 is based in Northern Virginia. They have a number of locations that serve that general area, training various types of dogs for virtually anything you can imagine. Typically, they train dogs in much the same fashion that virtually every other dog training facility does. That entails training dogs that individuals bring to them because they want them to undergo basic, intermediate or advanced obedience training. In some cases, there are certain types of extra training that are provided for specific needs that customers might have. They’ve been specializing in dog training for several years. More recently, they decided to team up with the Rescue 22 Foundation as a means of giving back to the community. They are currently working far beyond just their immediate community, placing these dogs in the homes of veterans all across the nation. Most recently, one dog was delivered to Florida while another went to Pennsylvania. As far as Ridgeside K9 is concerned, it’s just one more way that they can work to give back to the people that have already given so much. A well-trained dog who is capable of helping someone who has PTSD or is suffering from mobility issues can make all the difference in the world between allowing that person to live a full and healthy life versus being virtually confined to their home and needing someone else to complete even the most basic of tasks for them. In many cases, the dogs are capable of giving them back their freedom. To a certain extent, they also give them back their sense of security and self-worth. Perhaps most importantly, they provide the companionship and understanding that people are sometimes lacking.
Rescue 22 Foundation
There is no doubt about it, none of this would be possible without the Rescue 22 Foundation and the work that they are already well established in doing. This is an organization that has been specializing in placing dogs in the homes of veterans for some time. They operate almost entirely on a donation basis, many times rescuing dogs from local animal shelters that are unwanted and then training them so that they can effectively be placed in the homes of veterans. Of course, this can be a vastly expensive endeavor, but it’s also one that is worth doing. Just as Ridgeside K9 depends on them to supply the dogs, they too depend on the canine training facility to get the dogs ready to go into these homes. It is a partnership that requires equal effort on both parts as well as support from the public.
Anyone who wants to make a donation can do so by going to either the Rescue 22 Foundation website (which is listed above) or donating to Ridgeside K9. Either way, every dollar counts. As previously mentioned, it can cost as much as $40,000 to train one of these dogs. That means that they typically need as much public support as they can get. Public donations truly can make the difference between helping a veteran who desperately needs a well trained service dog or being forced to turn someone down because the funds simply aren’t available to provide much needed help. It’s important to remember that veterans often depend on the availability of these service dogs in order to do many of the things that most people take for granted on a daily basis. There is nothing cheap about providing comprehensive training for the better part of a year. The bill for dog food alone can be prohibitively expensive. That is precisely why both organizations can use all the donations they can get. It will allow them to continue placing service dogs in the homes of veterans, and that is a cause that is definitely worth pursuing.