The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), Department of California (Department) is honored to be the first state in the Nation to develop the Veterans of Foreign Wars Service Dog Training Program for our war veterans. Through the vision of the VFW Chung Mei Post 8358 of Sacramento, CA, they started and developed a program to train service dogs for our war veterans which is now beginning to take hold in other Districts in California.
Our motto in the VFW is: Veterans helping Veterans. What better way can we fulfill that motto than by giving back to veterans who gave of themselves to serve our country, sustaining injuries both visible and those we cannot see.
Our goal is to establish a veteran/K9 bond through a service dog training program that will result in a life-changing experience for a veteran.
PRIMARY COMPONENTS OF THE PROGRAM
•Minimal expense to the participating veteran.
•Assistance in adopting a K9 for training.
•If a veteran already owns a K9, the program team will evaluate the K9 to determine if it meets the criteria to be trained as a service dog.
•The VFW Service Dog Training Program meets ADA requirements, Title II and III, for PTSD anxiety service dog tasks.
•Testing of both the veteran and K9 for the Assistance Dog International (ADI) Public Access Test is mandatory.
HOW TO SET UP A VFW SERVICE DOG TRAINING PROGRAM
•Contact a Department Committee Chairman for VFW Service Dog Training Program information.
•You must have the support of the Post Commander and membership.
•You need a Post Committee Chairman to administer the program under the assistance and direction of the Department Program Chairman.
•Locate a location large enough to conduct training.
•Contact local dog breeders and/or viable rescue organizations for dogs.
•Set up a network of foster families.
•Obtain a K9 trainer who has been vetted by the Department Program Chairman.
•You must have liability insurance for your VFW Service Dog Training Program.