MARTIN COUNTY, TX (KWES) - A group is making sure veterans and people with disabilities are getting all the help they can. Freedom Service Dogs rescues, trains and pairs dogs up with someone who needs them all for free. It isn't easy and they need help keeping the service free.
It's a clay shoot with a good cause. Freedom Service Dogs spends more than $1 million every year rescuing, training and matching dogs up with people with disabilities or veterans.
Cargo is a retired service dog, opening doors and picking up keys are just a few of his talents. His mom, Lindsay Ganassa, Development Director for Freedom Service Dogs, has seen lives change thanks to the service dogs.
"We have clients who have told us that their dogs have literally saved their lives from suicide and unfortunately that's what they're faced with," said Ganassa. "But fortunately these dogs can make such a huge impact."
A difference many times not seen with medication or therapy. Training takes between 7-10 months and costs $30,000, not one penny is paid by the owner the dog is matched with. It's something Freedom Service Dogs hopes to continue doing.
"A lot of the veterans that come through our doors have anxiety or experience panic attacks or flashbacks so for a lot of our clients we teach our dogs to nudge them or to disrupt those flashbacks to bring them back to the present," said Ganassa.
All proceeds from the clay shoot benefit Freedom Service Dogs. Last year they raised $150,000 and hope to double that amount this year.
There are still 4 person teams available. To participate, just show up to Windwalker Farms in Martin County between 7:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. to register. Volunteers are also needed.