Operation Freedom Paws
All it takes is a couple of clicks on the website and people are falling in love with Operation Freedom Paws, their service dogs, the veterans, founder and Army veteran Mary Cortani, and their program. Everything they stand for is admirable and geared toward service.
Supporting our Nation's Veterans
If you have not heard of Operation Freedom Paws, they are a California-based 501(c)(3) non-profit that pairs service dogs with veterans that need these dogs to help them through a broad spectrum of physical injuries including traumatic brain injuries. While the physical injuries are trying, the emotional impairments and psychological disabilities require this therapy just as much. These include post-traumatic stress (PTS) and anxiety received through the difficult situations that were experienced during their military service.
22 Veterans Per Day
It’s no secret that our veterans are at risk with statistics telling us that 22 veterans a day resort to suicide--a tragic end to their suffering and struggles with mental health. While we try to show our support with social media posts and viral challenges, there are those people out there who want to take it a step further. In 2010, founder Mary Cortani, was approached by a Marine veteran for help and she heard her calling. She started the Operation Freedom Paws to provide service dogs for veterans with disabilities.
Help Veterans Receive Service Dogs
According to the National Service Animal Registry, the average cost of a service dog alone is around $15,000-$30,000 upfront. Some can even cost upwards of $50,000 depending on their specific tasks and responsibilities. Operation Freedom Paw's 48-week service dog team program costs $20,000 and includes service dogs, training, group and 1:1 therapy, healing modalities. veterinarian visits, temporary housing if needed and a safe place to go 24/7 at no cost to the client.
These dogs are skilled in specific tasks in the area needed for each particular veteran. They take their approach very seriously in offering training classes for the dogs and teaching their handler how to train them. This brings the relationship between the pair even closer, allowing the service dog to help veterans regain freedom in public settings. This is why trained service dogs have public access.
The veterans that have received a service dog through OFP have a general consensus that they learn even more than the dogs during training. They have a four-legged healer to walk through life by their side. It helps them re-engage in their lives by having support through their dog's service.
Properly Trained Dogs
Each United States veteran is paired with a dog they learn to train to support their specific disability and who helps them function in the world around them to rise above the trauma that they have experienced during their military service. While some service dogs help create space between others and their handler, some let the handler know when they are going to experience a migraine, need to sit down to avoid extreme pain, or even alert them to anxiety attacks before they even happen. In addition, the service dogs in the OFP program are rescued from local shelters, creating a scenario where both the dog and the veteran receive the love and support they both need.
Life After Service
Dogs have always been considered “man’s best friend” but, with the help of OFP and Mary Cortani, these special service dogs empower our heroes with support while they heal. They empower clients with the ability to have a happy life after their service to our country. Service dogs offer many different kinds of support for veterans. Studies show that a relationship with a dog helps reduce anxiety and depression and that is only a small part of the support these dogs are offering our nation’s bravest.
Supporting Our Military
Ravenox has its roots in service. Master Gunnery Sergeant Sean Brownlee founded the company in 2012 and strives to provide jobs to veterans. His experience in the U.S. Marine Corps with rope has allowed him to grow a company built on a foundation of strong ideals that give back to his country-- providing American-made cordage products that he grew to know well during his service.
Love for Country and Canine
And talk about love for dogs! Sean has his own furry pride and joy, Blitzen. He has most recently become Ravenox's mascot! Make sure to check out all of his antics on social media. The knowledge Sean gained while serving in the military is part of Ravenox's core values.
Providing Access to Trained Dogs for Veterans
So with respect and love for our nation’s heroes and their best friends, we celebrate organizations that give back to those who have given so much. As a veteran-owned business, we strive to advocate for all who support our nation’s finest -- and will always honor those who have served in the United States armed services. Thank you, Operation Freedom Paws!
Donate to Operation Freedom Paws
Your donation saves many lives; from the shelter dog given a second chance, to the disabled client given an opportunity to regain their independence, to the client's family who is able to re-connect with their loved one. Make an impact by saving lives today!