Wichita Association wins $ 1,200 to train veterans assistance dogs
WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) – Toney Turner recalls a conversation with a veteran desperate for a service dog but faced with an exhaustive search for one that meets his needs.
“He was in dire straits,” Turner said. “Everywhere he looked he either couldn’t get a service dog or it was a two to three year wait list. They can’t wait two to three years. They need help and they need it now.
Turner, a veteran of the Wichita Army, provides this help through his nonprofit organization Kevlar K-9, where he uses his talent for dog training to improve the lives of his colleagues. He trains service dogs for veterans who need help for a variety of reasons, including PTSD, seizures, anxiety, and diabetes.
“Our veterans die when they come home, and that’s the only reason we have that is to try to help stop it,” Turner said.
To meet logistical needs, KWCH and DeVaughn James Injury Lawyers gave Kevlar K-9 a helping hand of $ 1,200, and several companies are supporting the organization with a donation campaign and fundraiser ahead of Alumni Day. fighters.
“It will help us with the (vet) bills and adoption fees, as well as help pay for gasoline for our vets to come and train,” Turner said. “We have veterans from Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa and Oklahoma. We receive them from everywhere, so it will be of great help. “
Turner has been in the same place as the veterans he and his service dogs attend. Turner’s dog, Nox, helps relieve Turner’s anxiety and a separate health problem. When Turner falls to the ground during one of his episodes, Nox runs towards him and sneaks under him to protect himself from a fit.
Securing veteran dogs is not always easy, which is why the organization relies on donations from businesses and the public. Depending on the disability or the challenge, Turner said training assistance dogs to meet the needs of veterans can cost thousands of dollars. The only cost for veterans is an application fee of $ 200.
Reflecting on a veteran he helped, Turner said, “He now goes to recitals and vacations and so on, whereas before he didn’t leave his home for months at a time.”
Dog lovers know that furry companions can improve the life of anyone. This is especially true for veterans who need the skills dogs learn through this specialized training.
Army veteran Ashley Aimes said adopting her service dog was life changing.
“This hope that I can go out in public again and do things that I used to do,” Aimes said of how she was reinvented. “It’s that hope.”
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