SHELTER DOGS GET FREE TRAINING TO BECOME SERVICE DOGS - "It’s easy for people to get stuck in the past or worry about the future but your dog is always in the present moment."

A woman named Shannon Walker recently founded a non-profit organization called Northwest Battle Buddies which provides free training for former shelter dogs. The dogs are given to combat veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder and other ailments. Based in Washington, the group has already provided three newly-trained service dogs to veterans and there are many more people on the waiting list. Read more from the columbian.com:

Since starting the nonprofit Northwest Battle Buddies in January, Walker has provided trained dogs free of charge for three combat veterans with PTSD and is in the process of training a dozen more. Her waiting list has the names of 14 combat veterans.

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"I’m really proud of her," Walker’s son, Jarod, said. "Not only is she helping families by training dogs, but she’s helping veterans cope with PTSD and hopefully lowering the rate of suicides (among veterans)."

Walker envisions Northwest Battle Buddies providing 7 to 10 combat veterans with battle buddies each month, said Ovie Muntean, the nonprofit’s financial director.

To make this a reality, Walker will need money and volunteers. The cost of a single dog’s three-to-four month training is around $10,000, including shots, food and other services. Trainers walk the dogs through public places to desensitize them to crowds and crowd noises. Walker gets the dogs from area animal shelters.

Not only are combat veterans getting the assistance they need, but the shelter dogs are also moving on to permanent homes with caring owners. Click here for the full story, and here for more on Northwest Battle Buddies.