Foundation/Grantor Name: Arizona Veteran’s Donation Fund

Grant Amount: $25,000

Program Name: The Service/Therapeutic Companion Dog Training Program

Nonprofit/Recipient Name: Soldier’s Best Friend

Overview of Use of Funds: While the program costs approximately $5,000 per veteran/dog team to implement, Soldier’s Best Friend provides the Service/Therapeutic Companion Dog Training Program free to veterans who have already given so much through their service. A $25,000 grant from Arizona Veterans’ Donation Fund will support five veterans’ participation in the program in 2021, significantly improving the quality of their lives. Program expenses including program staff, contracted dog trainers, marketing, program supplies, and graduation events.

Overview of Grant Objective/Impact: By working in conjunction with participant’s medical treatment plan, Soldier’s Best Friend’s Service/Therapeutic Companion Dog Training Program aims to improve health outcomes for 125 participating veterans, reduce their PTSD/TBI symptoms and provide them an avenue to regain a sense of security, productivity, and self-sufficiency. Soldier’s Best Friend pairs each veteran with a screened and vetted dog, either a rescue or a canine they already own. Then, distinctive to their approach, the veteran works with our professional trainers who teach him/her to act as the dog’s handler until it qualifies for service or therapeutic companion dog status – a process that takes a minimum of six months.