MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Amid the amount of charitable work happening at the 3M Open, one of the tournament’s sponsors — Polaris — donated a rescue dog to K9s for Warriors.
The donation was made at the military outpost near the 17th hole Friday morning.
K9s for Warriors takes dogs from high kill shelters and then trains them to be service animals for veterans in need. The process generally takes anywhere from two to six months.
Dogs have to meet a certain criteria. They’re usually larger dogs, younger than 2 years old, and there are two reasons for that. First, the younger ones are easier to train. Second, it also gives them more time with the veterans.
This is a lifelong partnership between the nonprofit and the service members. When a dog gets too old to perform properly, the veteran will get a new one.
PTSD can be hard to understand but important to remember, it doesn’t go away. K9s for Warriors Tim Crosby described it as having invisible wounds.
“Unless you have seen it, you’re going to be a skeptic. I was skeptical. But I have seen young men and woman come home,” he said. “Someone described the feeling to me as if you’ve been driving down the highway and you have to slam on your breaks to avoid an accident. And you get light-headed and your heart is racing. For us who are quote-unquote ‘normal,’ we settle back down, but if you have post traumatic stress, you don’t always settle back down. So imagine living like that 24 hours a day seven days a week.”
The response when Polaris donated one more dog to the program was overwhelmingly positive. VA data shows veteran suicide rates staying pretty even over the past 10 years. The ASPCA estimates 670,000 dogs are euthanized every year. This mission is trying to do its part to combat both.