K9s for Warriors will break ground on a new service dog training facility Wednesday.
It will be located just south of US 1 and Racetrack Road and will be the largest shelter-to-service dog facility in the country.
“Tragically about 20 veterans per day commit suicide,” said Paul Mundell, K9s for Warriors Chief Program Officer. “It’s a national crisis.”
This crisis creates a need to connect more veterans with service animals sooner than later, Mundell said.
“The intervention of providing someone with a service dog has been shown to reduce veteran suicide, to cope with the systems of post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury, military sexual trauma,” Mundell said. “We feel an incredible need to get as many of these dogs paired with veterans as we can.”
The expansion will help speed up the process of connecting veterans with these much-needed dogs.
“This facility will allow us to open up our services to veterans from all eras and really better serve them and start to make end roads in what is, unfortunately, a very long waiting list,” said Mundell. “That essentially more than triples the capacity of K9s for Warriors in Northeastern Florida. That combined with our new training center in San Antonio, Texas, will really allow us to reduce the waiting list and serve more veterans. I mean, right now, we’re planning classes as far as three and four years out, that’s how long our waiting list is.”
The new facility is expected to be completed in the spring of next year.
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