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Red, White and Blue Dog Training After Government Service (R.W.B. Dog T.A.G.S.) is a 501 organization devoted to assisting military veterans and dogs. Training dogs since 2005 and being a veteran of 21 years of service we have donated our time, services and assets to assist veterans, in honor of their devoted service to our country.
In 2010 we offered free dog training to PTSD/TBI veterans and their companion dogs. A local facility, Bogarts Bone Appetit offered a portion of their store to us to use for free to hold the training sessions. The volunteer work included free training gear, evaluations, and training that met the requirements of Canine Good Citizen and Assistant Dog International, ADI, specifications. Bogarts also donated dog food as a majority of the veterans, in the training program, had no income as they were waiting on their claims to be processed through the VA.
In 2011 we became aware of numerous unfortunate situations where dogs were donated to veterans that were not spay or neutered; having extreme health issues prior to being donated; and dogs with other issues making them not conducive to becoming companion or service dogs. This combined with varying levels and prices of training made it difficult for veterans to attain a dog to be used for service assistance. Many times veterans seeking training for service dogs only received high cost basic companion dog training. When meeting with veterans and evaluating their dogs, we found that the dogs were not trained to pass any service dog testing, nor did they provide the service that the veterans referral stated, as required to provide assistance with their condition. All of these issues made it apparent that their was a problem that needed to be addressed with placing and training of these dogs for our veterans.
With these issues in mind, we expressed our concerns by networking through non profit 501 organizations, such as, Heaven Can Wait Animal Society, Animal Network, and other rescue agencies. They agreed that the issues our wounded warriors were facing in obtaining an appropriate dog were unfortunate. They offered any and all assistance that they could in an attempt to ensure the placement of the proper dogs for the veterans whether they were seeking a companion dog or a service dog to provide the services the veteran required.
Seeing the need for companion dogs as well as service dogs increasing we began networking through mental health doctors, counselors,and veterans requiring the service who agreed that the dogs provide rehabilitation and mental relief to our veterans that no pill could ever accomplish. Conversations with personnel from the 501 (c)(3) organization, US Vets showed that they could not provide support, when it comes to the dogs. These issues showed that a program of a much larger scale was desperately needed to assist our veterans with their dogs. So we have began forming R.W.B. DOG T.A.G.S.. By achieving our goals we can bring and keep a veteran and a dog together so both may heal, grow and live a better life.