Paws & Effect Gifts Majority of Its Service Dogs To Veterans Suffering From PTSD

Getty Images
Getty Images
Washington, D.C.

An Iowa-based charity relies on donations to cover the veterinary and training expenses associated with raising service dogs that are placed with veterans suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the organization’s executive director told the Breitbart News Daily radio show.

The non-profit Paws & Effect charity raises and trains service dogs to assist disabled veterans and children.

According to the charity’s official web site, the majority of service dog recipients “include children with autism and combat veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), and mobility issues.”

On Veterans Day, Nicole Shumate, executive director of Paws & Effect, came on the Breitbart News Daily show on Sirius XM Patriot channel 125 to discuss the charity’s mission.

She told the show’s host and Breitbart News Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon that some of the service dogs are gifted to veterans with physical impairments, but added that the majority of the specially trained canines are placed with service members who experienced combat and are tormented by PTSD.

Paws & Effect works “with a fairly large demographic that has post traumatic stress disorder and so we probably place 60 to 70 percent of our dogs with veterans who acknowledge that they have post traumatic stress,” Shumate declared.

“Our role is to accumulate resources from donors and gift those resources to the veterans. So, Paws & Effect covers the expenses of hosting a two-week training course at Camp Dodge, which is our local [Army National Guard] military installation in Johnston, Iowa,” she explained. “We cover all of the expenses for the puppy raisers.”

Shumate noted that the charity relies on donations to cover all of the service dog’s acquisition fees, food, and cost of training.

“So at the point of [the service dog’s] graduation, this is completely a gift from those in our community back to those who have served us,” she said.

“Paws & Effect is proud to continue to place service dogs at little to no cost to recipients, while covering all the veterinary and training expenses associated with raising service dogs,” states the charity’s web site.

The charity recently gifted a PTSD service dog to the family of the man who had received it, a U.S. Army Gulf War veteran who committed suicide by cop.

Normally, if a recipient dies, the service dog is transferred to another veteran or child, but Paws & Effect made an exception and gifted the Labrador retriever named Honor to the family of Iowa-native Wade Allen Baker, 44, who was killed on August 19 in a standoff with police in North Carolina.

“He’s the last connection that the boys have with their father,” Michelle, Baker’s second wife, told The Associated Press (AP). “I’m sure if we gave the dog the choice, he’d prefer not to be uprooted.”

“Honor gave the boys their dad for more years,” she added, tears rolling down her cheeks. “And that’s an amazing gift.”