Patriot PAWS Service Dogs was launched when Lori Stevens, a certified professional dog trainer, was asked to help a group of disabled veterans train their dogs.
Through this experience, Lori realized many disabled veterans were in desperate need of assistance dogs, and she wanted to help. She started Patriot PAWS Service Dogs with the help of a few friends and family, training only eight dogs at a time in a small storefront in Rockwall, TX, and in 2006, Patriot PAWS received their nonprofit status.
Patriot PAWS’ mission is “to train and provide service dogs of the highest quality at no cost to disabled American veterans and others with mobile disabilities in order to help restore their physical and emotional independence. Patriot PAWS intends to build partnerships with state and community organizations to help develop and support this goal.”
Since Patriot PAWS’ humble beginnings, much has happened! In 2008, Patriot PAWS partnered with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) to create an innovative Prison Training Program. Through this partnership, Patriot PAWS is able to train more service dogs for disabled veterans while creating career opportunities for inmates after their release. For the inmates, it also provides an opportunity to give back to the community while incarcerated. Exceeding all expectations, The Patriot PAWS/TDCJ partnership is widely considered to be one of the most successful programs of its type in the country.
In 2017, Patriot PAWS moved into their current Rockwall Training Facility and Campus, including a brand-new, indoor-outdoor, Kennel Facility, making it possible to house and train MORE dogs. And the more dogs they are able to train - the more veterans they can help!