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Trained Service Dogs For Veterans Tacoma, WA

We provide custom-trained service dogs with lifetime support to Veterans in Tacoma, WA at no cost.

Although military service is only for a short time, the mental and physical traumas suffered by Veterans can last a lifetime. The healing process is a unique journey for every Veteran, and for some, every day is a challenge. It's believed that one in five Americans who has served in Iraq or Afghanistan since 2001 is suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. TBI, MST, PTSD and PTSD all have symptoms that make daily living difficult.

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. We make a significant impact on the lives of Veterans by providing personalized training and ongoing support. If you're a Veteran who is ready to regain your independence, contact us today to learn more.

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. Veterans with disabilities can have their PAVE service dogs perform specialized tasks that 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 up Veterans during nightmares
  • Improve sleep quality and quantity
  • Increase your daily independence 
  • Positive social interactions can be increased
  • Lower symptoms of PTSD, MST, anxiety, and depression
  • Reduce your need for medication
  • Increase the quality of life for Veterans and improve their outlook
  • Physical assistance with everyday tasks
  • Reduce hypervigilance
Service Dogs

Hear From Our Veterans

Our Basic Criteria for a Service Dog

  • Became disabled while serving our country (does not have to be combat-related).
  • Have a clinical diagnosis of PTSD, MST, TBI, or need for certain physical help.
  • You are currently receiving support from a provider.
  • Can attend our training camp in the Portland Metro, Oregon, and provide for your own transportation and accommodation during that time.
  • Live in California, Idaho, Oregon, or Washington.
  • Can meet the physical, mental, and emotional needs of a dog.
  • You have been 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 it to provide service dogs for Veterans with mental and/or physical disabilities.

PAVE does not place service dogs for the legally blind or hearing impaired. These organizations can be found at ADI.

Yes, PAVE can be accredited to Assistance Dogs International. This international leader in assistance dog training and acquisition sets and promotes high standards of excellence. 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 charges around $42,000 per dog, which includes follow-up training and support for the life of the dog.

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.

To train a service animal, it takes about 1.5 to 2 years.

PAVE works with Guide Dogs for the Blind and selected breeders as well as rescues/shelters.

PAVE primarily trains Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, or Lab/Golden crosses.

These breeds have consistently been successful in service dog work regarding aptitude, temperament, and work ethic.

Once the dogs have joined our program, we will start training!

Professional dog trainers who specialize in service dogs train PAVE dogs. They employ positive reinforcement methods.

PAVE assistance dogs are trained to the specific disability needs of the individual Veteran. Examples of tasks they perform depend on the Veteran's specific needs but may include:

  • Turn lights on/off
  • Close or open doors
  • Retrieve items
  • Nightmare interruption
  • Redirect Veterans during a PTSD episode
  • Grounding and Deep Pressure Therapy (DPT)

PAVE doesn't train or certify pets already owned by Veterans. Assistance Dogs International has a list of organizations offering this type of training.

The initial required qualifications are:

  1. Honorable discharge.
  2. Support provided by licensed health professionals for those with mental or physical disabilities.
  3. Service dogs require housing and financial stability.

Have another Question?

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

Why PAVE?

At Paws Assisting Veterans (PAVE), we are wholeheartedly dedicated to providing Veterans with the support they need and 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.

Apply for a PAVE Service Dog

Are you ready for 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 provide personalized training and support for the lifetime of your dog. You can also access professional advice from our expert dog trainers. There ie no cost to your service dog, training or ongoing support.

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

We look forward to speaking with 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.