Rockwall, Texas (August 5, 2022) – Patriot Paws service dogs We are honored to participate in Assistance Dog’s International Celebration of “International Assistance Dogs Week”. The awareness campaign (running August 7-13) highlights the amazing life-changing work of helping dogs and people at the other end of the chain.
Founded in 1986, Assistance Dogs International (ADI) fosters a collaborative global community dedicated to the highest standards of excellence in the assistance dog industry. ADI is the only help dog organization in the world, made up of over 100 international member organizations.
“It’s a really great honor to be a certified member of Assistance Dogs International,” says Lori Stevens, founder and CEO of Patriot PAWS Service Dogs. “Teams we are privileged to put together are doing amazing things together. Not only because of their strong bond, but also because of the training standards that ADI strives to uphold and excel in.”
In addition to setting first-class training standards for the service dog industry, ADI also serves as a driving force advocating for Service Dog teams and their rights to employment, transportation, hospitality and public presence. ADI members also play a vital role in analyzing the genetics and behavioral sciences of service dogs in training in order to ensure that certain traits, which are critical to a service dog’s success, are passed on to future breeds.
The need for assistance dogs that are trained to ADI standards is growing. By the end of 2021, nearly 9,000 individuals had applied for an ADI-approved assistance dog – such as the Patriot PAWS Service Dog. During the same calendar year, 144 program members had more than 11,000 pups in training and more than 27,000 active teams. These teams consist of guide dogs, medical alert dogs, mobility service dogs, autism dogs, and psychological service dogs, such as post-traumatic stress dogs for veterans/victims of traumatic experiences.
“When you receive an assistance dog from an ADI-certified organization, you can rest assured that you are receiving an animal that has been trained to the highest standards by individuals who are passionate about improving the lives of those with disabilities,” stresses Stevens. “We’ve seen, up close, help dogs do amazing things and are proud to change the lives of more than 300 veterans and their families through our foundation.”
ADI’s theme for the 2022 International Helping Dogs Week is “People on the Other End of the Leash”; A sincere and impactful concept because these programs would not be possible without dedicated organization leaders, talented coaches, and dedicated volunteers.
“We appreciate this year’s theme very much,” says Stevens. “I often mention at service dog/Veteran graduation ceremonies that it takes a village to make our mission possible. Each Patriot PAWS service dog takes 18 to 24 months to train at a cost of $35,000. We couldn’t do it without our amazing team, volunteers and donors.”
Over the years, Patriot PAWS has been involved with Assistance Dogs International on a deeper level. In addition to being an accredited organization, Stevens works for the North American Council on Helping Dogs International as well as being accredited to North American organizations that apply for ADI certifications. During the past two years, Stevens has played a vital role in accrediting 5 organizations within the states of New Mexico, Florida, Alabama and Ohio.
Senior service dog trainer with Patriot PAWS, Jackie Fox, works on the Breeder Assessment Workgroup at the American Breeding Cooperative (ABC) – the Breeding Division of Assistance Dogs International. As a member of the working group, Fox helps analyze the critical traits of service dogs in training (born in ABC) to determine if their genes have the ideal characteristics for future service dogs. “It is amazing to know that some of the service dogs in training within our program may play an important role in the developments of the service dog industry,” says Fox. “It is an honor to be working closely with ADI and ABC to analyze the genes of our service dogs. These amazing dogs will continue to be the lifeblood of anyone.”
Patriot PAWS Service Dogs is proud to be a certified member of Assistance Dogs International, as well as an industry ally.
For more information, or to donate to Assistance Dogs International, visit their website at helpancedogsinternational.org
For more information, or to donate to Patriot PAWS, please visit their website at www.patriotpaws.org
Special thanks to Martin Atkin, Communications Consultant at ADI, for the insights related to this article. Images courtesy of Patriot Bowes.
About the Patriot Paws service dogs
Founded in 2006 by Lori Stevens, Patriot PAWS Service Dogs is a national nonprofit organization based in Rockwall, Texas that trains and provides the highest quality service dogs at no cost to American veterans with disabilities and others with mobile and post-traumatic stress (PTS) disabilities. and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI’s.) The organization was officially designated a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit in 2006, less than one year after Stevens called her heart to help veterans in need. Patriot PAWS is honored to be an approved member of Assistance Dogs International (ADI) – the only certified service dog organization in the world. The Patriot Bowes currently train their dogs at their main facility located in Rockwall, Texas; Patriot PAWS of Aggieland Program at College Station; with volunteer Puppy Raiders in Dallas-Fort Worth; and their partnership with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, where prisoner trainers work with program dogs within their prison units. To date, more than 400 dogs have been placed from the program and more than 80 veterans are still on their waiting list to receive a service dog.