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Service Dog For Veterans Bellingham, WA

Veterans in Bellingham, WA receive custom-trained service animals at no cost with lifetime support.

While military service only lasts for a limited time, the psychological and physical wounds experienced by Veterans can last forever. Every Veteran is on a different journey. For some, each day can be a challenge. From the roughly 2.7 million Americans that have deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001, it's estimated that 1 in 5 is experiencing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). TBI, MST, PTSD, and PTSD can cause a host of symptoms that interfere with daily living, making it difficult to get sleep, socialize, or maintain independence.

Veterans with service dogs can greatly benefit from their support. PAVE's mission is to make it easier for more Veterans to enjoy the benefits of service dogs. Through personalized training and lifetime support, PAVE makes a difference in the lives of Veterans. Contact us today if you are a Veteran and want to regain your independence.

Are PAVE Service Dogs Right For You?

Veteran with psychological or physical disabilities may experience a variety of chronic and complex symptoms, including anxiety, social difficulties, depression, and nightmares. PAVE service dogs provide specialized tasks for Veterans to improve their quality of life. From making simple tasks more accessible to providing essential support for significant challenges, PAVE service dogs have been shown to:

  • Wake Veterans from nightmares
  • You can improve your sleep quality.
  • Steady increase in independence 
  • Positive social interactions can be increased
  • Lower symptoms of MST, PTSD, anxiety, or depression
  • Reduce the need to take medication
  • Increase the quality of life for Veterans and improve their outlook
  • Assistance with daily tasks
  • Reduce hypervigilance
Service Dogs

Hear From Our Veterans

Our Basic Criteria for a Service Dog

  • Have a disability related to serving our country (doesn't have to be combat-related).
  • You have received a medical diagnosis of PTSD, MST, TBI, or need physical help.
  • Currently receiving treatment from a supportive provider.
  • You can attend our training camp in Portland Metro, Oregon and arrange your transportation and accommodation.
  • Living Oregon or in California, Idaho and Oregon.
  • Can provide for the emotional, mental, and physical needs of a dog.
  • Recognized as honorably discharged

PAVE does not have service dogs for the legally blind, hearing impaired or medical alert dogs (seizure and diabetic alert, for example). Please see ADI for organizations that specialize in these areas.

golden retriever service dog

Frequently Asked Questions
About Service Dogs for Veterans

PAVE's mission is to train and provide service dogs for our Veterans suffering from psychological and/or physical disabilities.

PAVE does not place service dogs for legally blind, hearing impaired, or medical alert dogs (seizure, diabetic alert, for example). These organizations can be found at ADI.

Yes, PAVE is an accredited member of Assistance Dogs International. This premier international organization promotes excellence in all aspects of assistance dog acquisition, training, partnership, and partnerships. Only three Oregon organizations currently hold accreditation.

PAVE, a 501(c),(3) non-profit organization, is funded through private donations, corporate donations and foundation funding.

PAVE requires approximately $42,000 per dog. This includes ongoing support and training.

90% of every dollar goes to program expenses.

PAVE provides the service dog, the training and ongoing support free of charge. The initial supply of equipment is valued at $1,500.

A service dog can take between 1.5-2 years to train.

PAVE works closely with Guide Dogs for the Blind, select breeders and rescues/shelters.

PAVE trains Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers or Lab/Golden crosses.

These breeds are known for their ability, temperament, and work ethic.

Training commences when the dogs are accepted into our program.

Dog trainers certified in PAVE training are specialists in service dogs. They use positive reinforcement methods.

PAVE assistance dogs are trained to accommodate the unique disability needs of Veterans. They may perform the following tasks depending on the Veteran's particular needs:

  • Turn lights on/off
  • Doors can be opened or closed
  • Get items
  • Nightmare interrupt
  • Redirect Veterans during a PTSD episode
  • Provide DPT (Deep Pressure Therapy) and grounding

No, PAVE does not train or certify dogs already owned by the Veteran. Assistance Dogs International provides a list of organizations that provide this type of training.

The following qualifications are required for the first time:

  1. Honorable discharge.
  2. Support provided by licensed health professionals for those with mental or physical disabilities.
  3. For the good of the service dog's well-being, housing and financial stability are essential.

Have another Question?

Email the PAVE team at [email protected], and we’ll answer all your questions about service dogs for Veterans.

Why PAVE?

Paws Assisting Veterans, (PAVE), is committed to providing Veterans the support and care they deserve. As a non-profit service organization, we offer service dogs at no cost to Veterans and provide lifetime support. Veterans can lead a happy, independent life with the help of service dogs who have been trained to perform specific tasks.

Register for a PAVE Service Dog

Are you ready to regain your independence? 

Our team is here to help you with the entire PAVE process. From application to training camp, we will support you and your new companion/service dog. We offer tailored training and ongoing support, as well as access to expert advice from our dog trainers. There are no charges for service dogs, training and ongoing support.

Get started with PAVE. Complete the contact form to get started.

We are looking forward to hearing from you.

Help Veterans Regain Their Freedom

Service dogs save lives. Help us to help Veterans by supporting PAVE. Your support and generosity go directly towards helping our Veterans and more donations mean more service dogs for Veterans in need.