Patriot Assistance Dogs

Rescued Dogs Rescuing Veterans

aka PAD   |   Detroit Lakes, MN   |  www.patriotassistancedogs.org

Mission

Patriot Assistance Dogs provides highly trained, certified psychiatric service dogs to qualified U.S. Military veterans. We believe that veterans and dogs are entitled to be treated with respect and care for their emotional and physical well being. This results in highly trained, competent dogs and confident teams who continually improve their quality of lives.

Ruling year info

2014

Administrative Director

Linda K. Wiedewitsch

Main address

1478 Mallard St

Detroit Lakes, MN 56501 USA

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EIN

45-2486498

NTEE code info

Animal Protection and Welfare (includes Humane Societies and SPCAs) (D20)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Shelters and pounds were having a hard time finding homes to adopt or foster rescued dogs. The costs for boarding dogs was increasing and overcrowding in shelters became an issue. By training rescued dogs, PAD is able to ensure that health checks and vaccinations were completed, they would be in a safe environment, and provide dogs a new purpose. The other problem that PAD is addressing is the lack of services in terms of providing service dogs to veterans in Minnesota and its border states. Training service dogs is an expensive endeavor but we believe it is an effective mitigation in countering the mental health disorders veterans face . Offering this service at no charge to the veteran would help increase the mental health and overall well-being of the veteran. PAD's philosophy is that veterans returning from military service with PTSD and TBI diagnosis have already paid more than the price of a service dog.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Service Dog Team Training

Training a service dog takes between six to nine months. During that period, we maintain veterinarian appointments and records of vaccinations to ensure the dog’s health and well-being. We hold quarterly classes to place PAD trained dogs and two classes for veterans who want to certify their own dogs each year, with an average of six veterans per class. Veterans who apply to our program are required to submit a recommendation from a mental health provider, two references, an honorable discharge military rating, and a veterinarian support letter. The current wait list is under twelve months. Those who are accepted attend a week-long training at our facility. The training includes knowing how to take care of service dogs and the mitigation skills the service dog can perform. This list of skills includes but is not limited to: interrupting panic and anxiety attacks, guiding the veteran out of stress inducing environments, interrupting night terrors and road rage, and alleviate insomnia. As a result of owning a dog, veterans are more likely to exercise and have fresh air. From the beginning PAD has not lost a single veteran to suicide once they receive a service dog. After training, the veteran and service dog enter a two-year probationary period with frequent evaluations to ensure that the veteran is meeting the needs of the dog. After the two years, if approved by PAD, ownership of the dog is transferred to the veteran.

Population(s) Served
Veterans
Military personnel

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

Assistance Dogs International 2020

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

1) To rescue dogs in need - PAD has formed partnerships with city pounds, private and public rescue agencies, and reservation roundups to determine if a rescue would be a good candidate as a service dog. This is determined by completing a temperament test and obedience tests. If accepted, PAD provides progress and training reports, routine medical health checks, vaccinations, and testing for diseases, along with boarding and overall care for the health and well-being of the dog.
2) To train dogs as psychiatric service dogs and give them to eligible military veterans for free. Our dogs are required to pass AKC's Canine Good Citizen and Urban CGC, Comfort Skills Testing, and Public Access Testing. They must also pass all program training phases.

Partner rescue agencies and their staff are trained by PAD to identify dogs that would be good candidates for the program. This includes temperament testing and a questionnaire on the dog's known behaviors. Once the dog is accepted into PAD's program they complete a wellness check, receive vaccinations, are spayed or neutered, and tested for any diseases. The cycle of acquiring and training homeless dogs as service dogs reduces the number of dogs in shelters or pounds and gives the dogs a new purpose.
PAD has formed partnerships with VA hospitals and treatment centers, Veteran Service Clubs, County Veterans Service Offices to refer eligible veterans to PAD. Our best referral system is the testimony of our graduate veterans and the dogs themselves.

National K9 School for Dog Trainers, Master Trainers course completion
American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen Evaluator certified
K9 Search and Rescue certified
Assistance Dogs International Accreditation (Candidate Program)

Since its conception in 2011, Patriot Assistance Dogs has certified 218 service dog teams. To date, we have 164 active teams and as of 2020, we have not lost a single veteran to suicide once receiving a service dog.

Financials

Patriot Assistance Dogs
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Patriot Assistance Dogs

Board of directors
as of 8/26/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Cathy Hanson