Hunting’s selected charity, Patriot PAWS, provides life-saving support to disabled military personnel.
It is a long standing Hunting tradition to annually support an individual Texan organization that is going to extraordinary lengths to improve the lives of others. This year, it was announced that Patriot PAWS had been selected during a ceremonial donation at the Hunting Art Prize awards.A Dallas-based dog trainer with over 20 years of professional experience, Lori Stevens has dedicated her career to restoring the independence and improving the lives of those affected by mobility issues. Stevens’ charity, Patriot PAWS, was founded in 2006 after a group of disabled military veterans, recently returned from active service, asked for her assistance with training their dogs.
Bob Phillips and the crew at Texas Country Reporter filmed a great segment on Patriot PAWS so you can get an “inside” look at how we are training service dogs with the help of prison inmates. Watch four veterans go through their daily routine with the female inmate trainers in Gatesville as they prepare for their graduation in April of 2015. Pay attention and you will see lives being transformed!
Rose Baca – neighborsgo staff photographer
“For some veterans, the dog can help a person go out in public. But for me, Gunny helped me go home,” said Deweerd, a fourth-grade bilingual math and science teacher at Duncanville’s Charles Acton Elementary School. “Work was a good release for me because I was around people and kids. I liked going to work. What I didn’t like was going home to an empty house.”
- Storms terrified him.
- The sound of thunder brought Dustin Deweerd back to the bombs that woke him from the mud compound in Afghanistan where his unit lived.
- Nighttime was the worst.
- His Duncanville home was too quiet with too many opportunities to relive the two years he spent overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan.
- But Deweerd said his match last May to Gunny, a 3-year-old Labrador service dog, has helped the soldier calm his battle with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.
PEARLAND, Texas – Cash can fetch and give “puppy” eyes like any other dog, but spend just one minute with Cash and retired U.S. Army Sergeant Javier Negrete, and you’ll see why Cash is no ordinary dog.
“This dog has changed my life,” said Negrete, who now lives in Pearland. “Since I’ve had Cash, my life is just a completely different story.”
However, a car crash during his week visiting home left the him paralyzed, and a severe brain injury altered his speech. Negrete was in a wheelchair and suffering from serious depression.
Until he met Cash. “I’m not the guy in the wheelchair anymore,” Negrete said. “I’m the guy with the cool dog.”