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K9s For Warriors expanding into Arizona to help veterans with PTSD

The non-profit organization trains service dogs that have been rescued from kill shelters to help veterans in need.

TEMPE, Ariz. — K-9s For Warriors is one of the largest service dog training organizations in the country and is expanding into Tempe to help Arizona veterans.

The organization helps veterans who suffer from PTSD, traumatic head injuries or military sexual trauma - and at the same time saves dogs from being euthanized.

“His name is Sergeant, but the full name is Sergeant good boy,” said Jared Brody, an Army veteran who lives in Denver.

The 5-year-old pup is Brody’s service dog and a graduate of K-9s For Warriors - a non-profit organization that trains service dogs for veterans.

Brody is an Army combat veteran. While he is no longer in combat, the effects of war can not be easily shaken off.

“It’s impossible. It’s ingrained in every fiber of my being. It’s been really tough,” said Brody.

Rory Diamond - the CEO of K-9s For Warriors - said they have a four-year waiting list. They have centers in Florida and Texas. They’re hoping to help more veterans by expanding into the Valley – partnering with Heidi’s Village, an animal shelter in Tempe.

“We’ll have dogs rescued in Arizona. Trained in Arizona. Placed with Arizona warriors,” said Diamond.

The rescued dogs will be housed and trained at Heidi’s Village. They plan to find a nearby ranch where the newly trained service dogs will work with the veterans they are matched with. They plan to be up and running by early next year. They’re looking to hire a staff of 25 to 60 - from trainers to veterinarians.

The veterans say their four-legged support buddies help shift their focus away from the trauma they wrestle with.

“Get back into the game. We tap out right after the military service and don’t want to do a whole lot. This is the hurdle we can get over to kind to finally start living our lives,” said Brody.

A program that is a win-win for both veterans and the dogs. Sergeant was rescued from one of the highest kill shelters in Florida.

“I know for a fact he enjoys this work, he really does, and it gives him a sense of purpose,” said Brody.

   

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