TOPGUN Fighter Foundation and Paws4You. Veterans and a program of training and care for canines currently awaiting adoption in Miami-Dade County, Florida.
It is clear that the canine homeless population is a significant problem; many of these homeless canines find themselves in public and private shelters; many are brought to us moments before the final curtain.
Many of these animals are mixed breed dogs; many have been abandoned or dumped, surrendered to animal services, or found lying in the street. Some have been rescued from terrible abuse, lack of care and little training which can mean that some may have behavioral issues. Many of these canines are large breeds, and due to the fact they have never been trained in appropriate behavior, they are not candidates for immediate integration into a typical family unit; the little dogs tend to get adopted quickly. It is proven, however, that even large dogs with apparent behavioral issues can, with appropriate training, caring and attention and a little love can be integrated into a family unit
It is a fact that some canines can never be adopted into a family unit due to behavior or health issues. It is recognized that while a rescue will be the forever home for these unfortunate animals, they deserve respect owed any and all living creatures. Therefore it is volunteers and staff that are the forever family for these unfortunate animals. The longest dog to have stayed at Paws was just recently adopted after 8 years
Many of our highly trained military veterans have great talents and now underutilized skills in all manner of things that can translate into the training of canines and the simplicity of caring about these dogs, showing them they are loved.
It is without dispute that veterans have expressed to us a desire to find an outlet for their prior training and service and find some meaning working with dogs. It has also been clear that veterans who do not have the background to provide highly specialized training to canines, wish to find a safe and satisfying outlet to fulfill the great need to help canines by walking and other important care activities. It is also a pathway for fostering and adoption for veterans who wish it.
TOPGUN Fighter Foundation and Paws4You now mutually integrate their resources and efforts to train and provide necessary care for the canines and an incredibly special volunteer opportunity for veterans with Paws4You:
A NOTE FROM PAWS4YOU: OUR COMMITMENT TO SAVE ONE DOG AT A TIME
The vision of PAWS4you is to not only save animals but to elevate the way communities interact with their pets, thus preventing abandonment and abuse altogether. Today, 11 years later, PAWS4you is grateful for each individual who has contributed to our efforts in saving thousands of dogs’ lives along our humble journey. As we move into the future, we continue to help individuals to nurture healthier relationships with their pets from the beginning, which helps avoid instances of pet abandonment and abuse. And we continue to work hard as a team in finding homes for animals by carefully placing them with potential owners. In such a way, we envision a community where pets live safely and happily, while enriching the lives of those owners who will care for them forever.
The Veteran Hero Canine Champions Program
- Our partnership institutes a training program and protocol for veterans interested in joining our efforts can train or be trained in the proper care of canines, including appropriate handling, socialization, walking, general care including but not limited to nail trimming, grooming tooth care and general grooming
- Working with previously designated aggressive dogs, including dog on dog and dog on people aggression. The goal is to identify triggers and desensitize these animals from acting upon previous triggers
- Helping the shelter institution by assisting in repairs to kennels, transportation of the animals to medical appointments and designated activities, and acting as chaperones to the dogs during outside activities in public.
- Many people are, for a variety of reasons, precluded from dog ownership. This program will allow canine contact without the limitations of housing or financial restraints for our volunteers.
- The more effort and success this program can lend to the harder to train and to care for dogs, the more time shelter employees and staff can spend with injured or sick dogs, while also ensuring exercise for the less challenging to adopt dogs; Therefore, keeping a pipeline of adoptions allows the shelter to maintain financial viability and to donate sums of resources to this program
- Matching Veterans with dogs for adoption AND/OR Foster programs
- Providing training for special needs service dogs for Veterans and working with K-9 trainers
- Potential for growth into paid positions or administrative or other work within the rescue