Last week, state Attorney General Ashley Moody recognized the K9s For Warriors program for its efforts in providing Florida law enforcement agencies with trained Service Dogs to help mitigate stress factors common to the work environment of dispatch operators, first responders and law enforcement officers.
Founded to provide assistance to veterans, K9s For Warriors recently expanded its mission to include providing trained Service Dogs to local law enforcement agencies across Florida through the Station Dog program.
“The brave men and women of Florida law enforcement often find themselves in extremely stressful and dangerous situations. I am so thankful for the work being done by K9s For Warriors to help connect law enforcement heroes with K9s to help them heal and cope with some of the invisible wounds inflicted while protecting Floridians. I look forward to watching the Station Dog program grow and help even more members of our law enforcement community,” Moody said.
K9s For Warriors CEO Rory Diamond also weighed in on his organization’s work with the Jacksonville Sheriffs Office (JSO).
“We are dedicated to supporting our nation’s heroes, and while our focus is on helping military veterans overcome mental trauma, we started the Station Dog program to extend that support to the heroes who continue to serve our communities. We are honored to be recognized by Attorney General Moody, and we are excited to partner with JSO in bringing Buster to their department as a way to help relieve the pressure our first responders face every day,” Diamond said.
As part of an award presentation last week, K9s For Warriors presented Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office with a Service Dog named Buster. K9s For Warriors is the nation’s largest provider of Service Dogs to military veterans suffering from service-connected disabilities—including post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries. The program rescues and trains shelter dogs to be matched as Service Dogs with a Florida military veteran. As K9s For Warriors grew, the program quickly realized the positive impact these Service Dogs could have in law enforcement facilities throughout the state. The goal of the K9s For Warriors partnership with Florida law enforcement agencies through the Station Dog program is to assist in the placement of facility dogs throughout Northeast Florida. Similar to the Service Dogs’ abilities to identify and alleviate symptoms of veterans, K9s For Warriors hopes to help in easing stress factors common to working within law enforcement agencies.
Currently, K9s For Warriors Station Dogs are serving the Atlantic Beach Police Department, Daytona Beach Shores Police Department, Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, Jacksonville Beach Police Department and Neptune Beach Police Department—with a waiting list of eight additional departments interested in the program awaiting dogs to be trained and placed. Once a good fit for a facility dog is identified, the program works to place the dog within two weeks.
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