Heroes & K9's

Service Dogs, Dog Training, Dog Sports
For First Responders & Veterans
*501C3 Status Pending

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Providing Veterans and First Responders who suffer from PTS with service dogs, service dog training, basic dog training, and dog sport training to assist them with assimilation to civilian life post traumatic events.  Heroes and K9s is a  partnership between the selfless sacrifice of heroes and the loyalty and selfless love of K9s who both have tactical and life saving ability as warriors, honoring the bravery and heroism of service before self.


To provide service dogs, training and dog sports to US Veterans and First Responders who suffer from PTS to assist them in transitioning positively back to civilian life by partnering them with a puppy and providing an 18-month training program of highly specialized and customized service dog tasks with a comprehensive training program including dog sports to provide partnership between the K9 and handler.


Many military personnel, veterans and first responders face challenges like PTS, depression, immobility, and inactivity, sometimes resulting in destructive consequences which may include homelessness, crime, drugs, alcohol, and even suicide following the traumatic events they experience in the line of duty.  Our program will help motivate them to participate in daily routines and will be part of their wellness program to provide confidence and security of  a service dog and the therapy of the training program as they transition back into civilian activities and lifestyle. Their active participation in learning to train their dog, gaining service dog status, and active participation in learning and doing a selection of dog sports as well as maintaining the care and overall health of their dog will provide them support and therapy similar to equine therapy programs to re-engage in a healthy and well-transitioned life post traumatic event.


Trust:  Providing support and courage to continue and to build a passion for dogs and the impact they can make on someones life.

Kindness: Paying it forward through the devotion and loyalty a dog and the knowledge we have to share through our comprehensive training plan.

Service:  Provided by the K9 in response to the service by the hero.

Community:  Training program that supports the heroes and builds partnership between the K9, the Hero and the other Heroes in the program.

Bravery:  Heroes and K9s is a partnership between the selfless sacrifice of heroes and the loyalty and selfless love of K9s who both have tactical and life saving ability as warriors.


Application Information

  • Following the Application Process

  • The Board will select applicants based on their application.

  • The application will identify:

    • Disability

    • Housing situation (e.g., rent vs. own, fenced in yard, etc.)

    • Specific tasks need assistance with *K9cation staff will review this aspect to ensure capability to meet training needs and develop training program for needs.

    • No history of animal or domestic abuse

    • Must be drug free

    • Must commit to training program approx. 18 months

    • Must have financial means to support owning a dog and appropriate care for the animal’s well being

    • Must be able to attend training classes

    • Must have a cell phone and adequate transportation

  • The board and program director will interview the potential applicants.

  • Applicant notification

  • Applicants must pass background check.

  • Provide copy of DD214 &/or First Responder ID

  • Applicant will select a puppy and will be provided with training program plan.

  • The training program is provided as part of this program.
  • Through fundraising the program hopes to provide: 40lbs of dog food, service vest, leash, crate, vet care, appropriate training collars, etc.
  • If the program does not receive donations the training equipment such as leash, collar, crate will need to be covered by the responder/veteran as well as the health care and spay/neuter of the dog.


The Program

Following the Application Process

  1. Basics - Play & Train Socialization - Must achieve AKC STAR Puppy Certificate & AKC Canine Good Citizen Cert

    • Potty Training​​

    • Transport Training

    • Basic Commands

    • Crate Training

    • Socialization

  2. Grooming - Nails, Ears, Bathing, Oral Health 101

    • Requirements of dog care​​

    • Requirements of having your dog in public

  3. Service Dog Training - Action Dog Certificate

    • Be well behaved, potty on command, push button, pick up dropped item, help up, find keys, remote, wallet, glasses.  During anxiety attack provide pressure, and mindfulness.

    • Specific Service tasks

    • Service task proofing

  4. Service Dog Assimilation into Society 101

  • ADA Law​

  • Being in Public

  • Q&A Prep

  • Public Prep

Service Dog’s Out and About 102 - Must obtain AKC Canine Good Citizen Urban and AKC Canine Good Citizen Advanced

  • Proofing in Public

Dog Sports

  1. Barn Hunt

  2. Lure Coursing

  3. Agility

  4. Dock Diving

  5. Disc Dog

  6. Herding/Stock Dog

  7. Obedience/Rally

  8. Flyball

  9. Nosework

  10. Trick Dog - Potential AKC Certs

  11. Activities such as: Dog Fitness, Hiking off leash, paddle boarding, AKC Fit Dog Program Cert, etc.

Graduation Test with VA Testimonial

Veterans/Responder’s Offered Volunteer opportunity and possible program involvement