Training Director – Bonnie, shares her passion for helping disabled veterans and raising Patriot PAWS puppies.
Founder and Executive Director, Lori Stevens, shares her #WhyIGive story.
Patriot PAWS Volunteer Puppy Raiser, Tammie Zaleski, shares her passion for helping disabled veterans and raising Patriot PAWS puppies.
Patriot PAWS is a non-profit dedicated to providing disabled veterans with service dogs and no cost to the veteran. Each service dog is specially trained by elite dog trainers to assist and protect veterans with life-altering injuries, PTSD, and other disabilities. Each dog takes approximately two years to train, costing the organization around $33,000 per pup. Now, The Texas Federation of Republican Women is raising funds to help!
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Retired U.S. Army Ranger Aaron Mixel is standing on the side of a road in Rockwall; it’s something he says he couldn’t do two years ago.
You look around most streets and you see debris on the sides and the work cones, and these are things they’ve put IEDs in.
Mixel served in the military for 20 years. He enlisted in his home state of California at the age of 17. In 2009, he was in Afghanistan when an IED exploded right next to him. He was only partially blocked by the Humvee he was standing next to at the time. He suffered brain damage, lost his right eye and his arm was torn up by the shrapnel.
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Tommy is back and the Good Day anchors get an update on him and find out what else he’s doing in town.
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His first stop was for an event with the Texas Federation of Republican Women. With Tommy as the celebrity guest at Belles n’ Boots, the group kick-started their campaign to raise $30,000 to sponsor a service dog through Patriot Paws. “We believe so strongly in the men and women that give so much for our country and sacrifice for our country,” says Theresa Kosmoski, President of the Texas Federation of Republican Women. And she adds, “and if there is something we can do to help them and pay them back for protecting our freedom and protecting our liberties, this is the least we can do.”
The pups of Patriot PAWS Service Dogs were a slam-dunk hit during pregame of the Lady Hawks vs Lady Jackets basketball game on Friday, January 20, 2017. The adorable ‘Ballers’ gave away tons of puppy kisses and smiles to fans of both teams at the Rockwall-Heath High School Gym.
Patriot PAWS is still having trouble getting service dogs to disabled veterans quickly enough. In fact, the average wait is more than three years long.
While three years is a long wait for anybody, for veterans who suffer from PTSD, knowing help is three years away seems like a lifetime.
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Service dogs cost $33K but are priceless to veterans in need, compliments of Rockwall nonprofit.
“I’ve seen the magic these dogs bring,” said Springstead. “They’re so important to recovery.”