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Warriors’ Angels (WA) Program

 

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The Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet© Warriors’ Angels (WA) Program was developed to support service members and veterans who have been medically diagnosed with “Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder” (PTSD) and official recommendation from their Primary Care Manager (PCM) to us has been received that an “Assistance Service Canine” (ACS) will help improve the service member/veteran’s quality of life.

Note: Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet plans to purse ADI Accreditation but due to specific ADI Accreditation requirements we are unable to do so until approximately Dec 2015/Jan 2016 when we have met the 2 requirements related to the number of program “certified” Teams (minimum 3) who have been active working Teams for 1 year after graduating from our program.

Due to the complexity of the program we are implementing the program on a “state-by-state” basis which at this time the final steps are being put to place to implement “WA” in the state of TX initially in San Antonio area followed by program implementation in Central TX during the 3rd and 4th quarters 2014. During 2015 goals is to expand the program to the Dallas/Fort Worth area, Southwest TX (El Paso area) plus evaluating the need for the program in the Northwest TX area, Southeast TX area, and Northeast TX area.

Going forward our plans are to implement Warriors’ Angels program in states such as southern CA, CO, TN, FL, NC, VA, and NY between 2016 and 2021 as long as we have qualified program volunteers within the states, qualified PTSD Team trainers, and  the funds to implement and maintain the program in each state defined.

Understanding PTSD

Warriors’ Angels “Definitions”

The program includes but not limited to qualifying potential service member/veteran applicants, determining potential ASC candidates via a specific evaluation process, arranging for specific “Team” (specific Handler and ASC candidate), program certification, and on-going WA Team follow up until such time as the ASC can no longer perform the functions it was trained to do or the Team has officially been dropped from the program.

The program has been set up following the standards and recommended certification exams as defined by the IAADP, AKC, and ADI organizations involved with defining and developing standards and recommended certification criteria for these Teams (service member or veteran and a specific Assistance Service Canine) from a privately trained perspective.

All applicants will be considered regardless of race, sex, religion, creed, sexual orientation, and ethnic origin.

Assistance Service Canine (ASC) Overview

Training Assistance Service Canines (ASCs) (aka PTSD service dogs) for service members and veterans living with “PTSD requires very specialized knowledge and skills – for both the assigned WA Trainer and the Assistance Service Canine (ASC)

The ASC candidate must:

  • Possess a perspective nature
  • Have a courteous, compliant temperament
  • Have an intuitive spirit in order to perform their duties independently when Handler is facing a crisis
  • Show no signs of aggressive toward those they may come in contact with

The program’s Coordination Liaison and assigned Trainer teams work to identify and evaluate these unique animals, and then the trainer trains them to recognize and interrupt the behaviors associated with mitigating the Handler’s disability (i.e.., anxiety, panic attacks, and nightmares/flashbacks). This team also evaluates both canines and applicants in order to effectively pair a successful WA Team.

Each Assistance Service Canine (ASC) is trained to a standard and additional training is customized for each WA Team (specific Handler and ASC). Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet via the Warriors’ Angels program is committed to working together with the assigned Trainer and each WA Team as they learn to work as a team to increase physical, emotional, and social self-sufficiency.

WA Assistance Service Canines (ACS) are trained to perform various tasks including but not limited to:

  • Alleviate anxiety/distress and provide psycho-emotional grounding by nudging, pawing, and leaning.
  • Assist their Handler is waking from night terrors and nightmares (flashbacks).
  • Distract their Handler from an event or specific maladaptive behavior by nudging, pawing, and licking.
  • Bring medication to the Handler on command or when alerted to do so by a timer/alarm.
  • Stand in front of or circle their Handler in crowed areas to create personal space in a non-aggressive manner.
  • Lead their Handler safely to a building exit when experiencing an anxiety or panic attack.
  • Get help by alerting another person or activate an emergency button or alert system.

Note: These service canines are not trained to be guard dogs or act aggressive.

To be considered as an applicant for the Warrior’s Angels program, the applicant must:

  1. Be an active service member or honorably discharged veteran of the US Armed Forces
  2. Has been officially diagnosed with PTSD and PCM’s recommendation for the need of a specially trained PTSD service animal as defined by the Army Directive 2013-01 (January 2013)
  3. Have prior experience with dog ownership
  4. Be financially able to handle routine and emergency expenses and veterinary care for the service animal.  (The estimated cost of dog ownership is $3,000 annually, barring emergencies.)
  5. Send monthly progress reports including training hours, photos and/or video via email
  6. Demonstrate vigilance, determine, patience, and perseverance in order to succeed
  7. Understand that no matter how much training a dog gets, he will never be a robot, so raining and fine-tuning never stops until such times as the ASC is no longer able to perform the tasks he/she was trained to do.

Note: Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet “Warriors’ Angels” program plans to purse ADI Accreditation but due to specific ADI Accreditation requirements we are unable to do until approximately Dec 2015/Jan 2016 when we have met the 2 requirements related to the number of program “certified” Teams (minimum 3) who have been active working Teams for 1 year after graduating from our program.


Warriors’ Angels Program Process

To begin the program’s process defined below,  the service member or veteran diagnosed with PTSD needs to submit the prepared and signed “WA Interest Submission” and the “WA Eligibility Requirements & Disclaimers” document and fax to the National Program Director as provided below

Submitter needs to the read and be familiar with the “Warriors’ Angels Program Standards” documents and  “WA Program Process” document prior to submitting the “WA Interest Submission” and “WA Eligibility Requirements & Disclaimers” documents to Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet.

 

Warriors’ Angels Standards

The following documents provides full details in related to the standards that have been established for the Warriors’ Angels program, no matter what state we choose to implement this program.

  

Warriors’ Angels Financial Related Details 

Following documents are being provided to ensure those parties interested in the Warriors’ Angels program have the proper information  related to the program’s donations, expenditures, current year budget, and current year supporters as of May 31, 2014:

 

Get Involved

Contributions

The program is provided based on Direct Public Support (individuals, businesses, other organizations), Indirect Public Support (3rd party entities such as PayPal Giving Fund, iGive, and Amazon Smile), and Sponsorship Levels.

Donations are tax deductible as allowed by the organization’s IRS Exemption Status Letter and under section 170(b)(1)(A)(vi) of the Internal Revenue Code and specific tax deductible related questions should be discussed with your personal tax advisor – Fed ID: 20-2229425

Via Check or Money Order

Payable to: Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet
Memo line either: WA-TX

Mail to:

Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet
ATTN: WA-TX
9725 FM 1783
Gatesville, TX 76528-4739

            

Via PayPal: Warriors’ Angels – TX Donations

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Volunteer Opportunities 

Open Opportunities:

Volunteer Application: Please click HERE and download the application by saving to your computer, prepare, print prepared copy, sign, and fax to our National office (866-800-0115).

 

2014 Warriors’ Angels – TX Program Supporters

(Sept 2013 – June 2014)

  • PetSmart – TX, NM, and OK regions
  • Rementer/Brough (PA/TX)
  • J. Osborn (OK)
  • VFW Ladies Aux 4658 (NY)
  • Crazy Shelter Ladies (CT)
  • C. Eignus (TX)
  • Great Dane Club America (NJ)
  • J Grayson-French (TX)
  • Home Instead Senior Care Services (TX)
  • Home  Instead Senior Care Services Event (TX)
  • V Scott (VT)
  • C. McManus (TX)
  • C & J Highhouse (IN)
  • Armor Wealth Management Fundraiser (TX)
  • J&P Norman (TX)

Spread the Word

Please feel free to open and save the following promotional materials to share with your family, friends, co-workers, and others with an interest in supporting our service members and veterans diagnosed with PTSD, needing a specially trained service animal to improve his/her way of life.

Follow the program and its activities on Facebook, by clicking here and then “liking”.


Additional Information

For more details and questions, please email waap@guardianangelsforsoldierspet.org