Military Embedded Systems

GIVING BACK: America's VetDogs


October 18, 2021

Lisa Daigle

Assistant Managing Editor

Military Embedded Systems

GIVING BACK: America's VetDogs

Each issue, the editorial staff of Military Embedded Systems highlights a different charitable organization that benefits the military, veterans, and their families. We are honored to cover the technology that protects those who protect us every day. 

This issue we are featuring America’s VetDogs, a nonprofit organization created by the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind in 2003 to provide assistance dogs and training to disabled veterans and active service members. Overall, VetDogs trains and places service dogs for those with physical disabilities; guide dogs for individuals who are blind or have low vision; service dogs to help mitigate the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder; and facility dogs as part of the rehabilitation process in military and VA hospitals.

According to the group, the cost of breeding, raising, training, and placing just one assistance dog totals more than $50,000. The organization provides these services at no charge to its clients. Funding comes from donations from individuals, corporations, foundations, businesses, and community organizations. (Editor’s note: America’s VetDogs has earned a score of 100, the highest rating, from Charity Navigator.)

Applicants who join the VetDogs community spend a two-week training program at the organization’s 10-acre campus in Smithtown, New York, with classes kept small to ensure personalized attention for each student and their new dog. During the training, the student and dog bond and learn how to work together as a team, assisted by the VetDogs certified trainers and the training curriculum.

The organization also cooperates with the U.S. military and the Department of Veterans Affairs, providing therapy dogs for those deployed abroad, offering canine training for disabled veterans and service members, and placing physical- and occupational-therapy dogs in military medical centers including Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

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