Human Services

TAILS OF VALOR PAWS OF HONOR PROGRAM INC

Help save two lives by empowering our Veterans to return to civilian life with the loyalty of a trained, rescued canine companion.

aka Tails of Valor

Coopersburg, PA

Mission

Tails of Valor Paws of Honor’s (TOV) mission is to provide rehabilitation through non-medicinal therapies with training service canines for Veterans suffering from PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) and Physical Disabilities. By rescuing discarded dogs, TOV provides struggling Veterans with companions who aid and assist in their daily routines, improving the quality of both lives. Canine Connections, an Animal Assisted Therapy Program, provides social interaction and human/canine bonding resulting in trained services dogs able to assist with the post-combat physical and psychological issues affecting Veterans and their families. Our dogs are provided to Veterans at no cost.

Notes from the Nonprofit

The crisis with our Veterans and homeless canines is reaching critical proportions. In addressing these issues and bringing community awareness to their plights, TOV seeks to make our community a better place for everyone. Through our community outreach/education awareness presentations, TOV hopes to encourage individuals, organizations, and corporations to pick-up the mission and spread our message on a larger scale. All our puppies go out into public to act as ambassadors of our program and our Veterans; they attend presentations, community events, sports and other school extracurricular activities. Canine Connections is not just about the end-product service dog, but the many lives touched along the way. Our ultimate goal is for TOV to contribute to an end to or lessening of the crisis currently miring the lives of our nation’s Veterans, as well as reducing or ending the need for dog rescues and unwanted pet organizations.

Ruling Year

2016

Founder & Executive Director

Heather Lloyd

Main Address

PO Box 127

Coopersburg, PA 18036 USA

Keywords

Veterans, Service Dogs, Rescue, PTSD

EIN

81-1221443

 Number

5333930283

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Human Service Organizations (P20)

Other Services (D60)

Mental Health Treatment (F30)

IRS Filing Requirement

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

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Social Media

Programs + Results

What we aim to solve

Every day in the United States, 20 Veterans take their own life; at the same time, over 3,000 dogs are euthanized. TOV's goal is to create an opportunity to save two lives by empowering our Veterans to return to civilian life with the loyalty of a trained, rescued companion under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) laws. Decades of military conflict have taken a toll on our Veterans. Among post 9-11 Veterans (Iraqi and Afghanistan), 20% (or 1 in 5) suffer from PTSD or major depression. Pennsylvania ranks #4 highest in the size of our Veteran population (nearly 900,000). Service dogs have been shown to aid in the mitigation of psycho-social symptoms, allowing the Veteran to transition successfully to civilian life and a more normal lifestyle.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

3

Our programs

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

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Canine Connections

Where we work

Our Results

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one. These quantitative program results are self-reported by the organization, illustrating their committment to transparency, learning, and interest in helping the whole sector learn and grow.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Number of dogs in animal assisted therapy program

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

Veterans,

People with psychosocial disabilities

Related program

Canine Connections

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context notes

Our service dogs in training are rescued puppies who receive more than 1,500 hours of specialized training—and provide animal-assisted therapy to Veterans through our Canine Connections program.

Total dollars received in contributions

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

No target populations selected

Type of Metric

Other - describing something else

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context notes

The program's success at VA Hospitals is driving demand for expanded outreach of services. Sustaining growth in contributions is critical to add more dogs and counselors to serve more Veterans.

Number of veterans with PTSD served

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

No target populations selected

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context notes

Our animal-assisted therapy improves Veterans' mental and physical health and quality of life by providing positive, goal-directed therapeutic canine interactions with the guidance of a Peer Counselor

Charting Impact

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

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have they accomplished so far and what's next?

Using the theological foundations of animal-assisted therapy research, TOV's Canine Connections focuses on several lessons/tasks to build a rapport between the Veteran and the canine in the therapeutic relationship. Our Animal-Assisted Intervention Advantages help the Veterans' experience companionship, warmth and patience with a non-judgmental partner. TOV canines enhance the therapeutic environment which reduces friction caused when experiencing social activities; having our canines as an adjunct to trainers and clinicians can increase communication and motivation. Our focus is to promote social support, providing positive physical and mental health interactions to improve the quality of life. These small steps benefit both the Veteran and the rescued canine.

To promote our mission of aiding Veterans and rescuing pups/training as service dogs, TOV is currently expanding and strengthening Canine Connections by being part of the formal programs at the VA Medical Centers in Philadelphia, Coatesville, and Lebanon, PA. Currently in 2020, we have 19 dogs in training and anticipate the graduation of 5 dogs who are in the process of pairing with their permanent Veteran. In addition, TOV plans to strengthen and increase our community impact through expansion of our existing training facility in Quakertown. The TOV Health & Wellness Center will allow us to train more dogs to assist more Veterans, while creating a haven for Veterans by offering complementary wellness services (i.e. nutritionist, yoga, counselors, acupuncture, massage) and additional resources for training assistance. We also continue to expand our educational awareness programs and partner development in support of Canine Connections, including a new clinical education affiliation with Moravian College's Helen S. Breidengan School of Nursing. The following video provides an intimate view into the work we do: https://vimeo.com/393009825/063fd078eb?fbclid=IwAR3o2sJG8ep6lGyzqWlczcoW7mD_S2o3G2T4x60I7_gd903439pr-IPVcGo

Dedicated TOV staff and volunteers (more than 60 active) bring tremendous experience to our mission. * TOV Founder/Executive Director, Heather Lloyd, has an extensive background with 10 years in the medical field and over 20 years working with animals and as a business owner. * Our trainer Denise Vansickle-Cressley is a retired Veteran with a B.S. in Psychology from Penn State with extensive dog training experience. She is a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, the International Association of Canine Professionals, a Therapy Pets Unlimited evaluator, and AKC Canine Good Citizen evaluator. * Administrative support has been strengthened to brand and bring attention to our mission. * More than 60 active volunteers provide assistance with training, fundraising and education events, puppy sitting and puppy raisers who also provide loving interactions with the pups as they experience the intricacies of home-life and daily exposures. * A strong TOV Board supports our mission with diverse backgrounds in veterinary care, the armed services, marketing, and fundraising.

The positive impact of our program is measured by an increase in participating Veterans, graduation rate of service dog/Veteran pairings, integration of our Animal Assisted Therapy into VA facilities, expansion of community reach and engagement, and continued growth of corporate sponsorship and strategic partnership development. We serve more than 6,000 Veterans and expect to increase that number by partnering with more VA Hospitals. We work toward a 100% graduation rate—but in any situation where a dog does not meet full certification standards, that dog is still placed with a Veteran who benefits from the companionship of a therapy or emotional support canine. TOV increased revenues five-fold in the past four years, with a 71% increase in 2019 vs. 2018 In collaboration with the medical and behavioral staff in Coatesville, we are also contributing to the study on the efficacy of service dogs for Veterans with PTSD. Our expanded facility and resources will also allow us to provide more education presentations, community engagement, and donor outreach.

Since establishing 501(3)(c) status in 2016, TOV has achieved incredible growth and credibility. * Successful graduation/pairing of 11 service dogs with Veterans suffering from PTSD or TBI, and placement of 1 companion therapy canine with a Veteran requiring emotional support. * Formal recognition and integration of TOV Canine Connections animal-assisted therapy at the Philadelphia, Coatesville, and Lebanon, PA VAs--the FIRST service dog organization to work in the Philadelphia VA Medical Center. * Co-authored "Guidelines of TOV Animal Assisted Therapy" protocol with Coatesville behavioral team, and will be contributing to the research/study of the efficacy of AAT for Veterans with PTSD. * TOV currently serves more than 6,000 between the Philadelphia and Coatesville VA Medical Centers, Haven House--an outpatient psychiatric counseling center in Allentown, PA, and at our Quakertown facility...including referrals by social workers and mental health professionals. * Established a clinical education affiliation with Moravian College's Helen S. Breidegan School of Nursing.

External Reviews

Awards

Community Star Award to Founder/Executive Director Heather Lloyd 2018

Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs

Affiliations & Memberships

Department of Veteran Affairs Medical Centers (formal therapy integration Phila + Coatesville, PA) 2018

Photos

Financials

TAILS OF VALOR PAWS OF HONOR PROGRAM INC

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Operations

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

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  • Forms 990 for 2018, 2017 and 2016
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Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

Not Applicable

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Not Applicable

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

Not Applicable

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

Not Applicable

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?

Not Applicable