How it all started
In 2015, Army veteran Steve Corey was moved to action in response to the tragically high suicide rates in the veteran community. He knew the difference a service dog could make in the life of an individual and had seen them recommended to those who were re-entering civilian life following their service. The problem was, most service dog organizations had years-long wait lists, extensive requirements and unaffordable plans for someone on a fixed income.
In an effort to combat these issues, Victory Service Dogs was born.
Steve knew it had to be affordable, which is why the training we offer to our qualified clients is completely free. He also wanted to create a hands-on program that would include our clients in the training process. Through weekly classes with a professional dog trainer, clients and their service dog candidate learn basic and advanced obedience to prepare the dogs for service work specific to their handler’s needs. These veteran-dog teams go through certified training together, increasing their bond while offering access to a safe and encouraging community that fosters camaraderie and friendship.
Where we are now
Through the generosity of our sponsors and donations, we have been able to help over 100 individuals and graduate more than 50 veteran-service dog teams from our training program to date. Our clients are thriving; returning to school, finding and keeping jobs, experiencing healthy engagement with family and increased independence in their personal lives. This is why we exist!
The need in our community is far from being fully met, but we have no plans to stop now! Our hope is to start up our very own children’s program, Victory Kids, in order to provide service dog training for children with special needs. We are excited about our future and will continue to work hard to support our community!
The Victory Service Dogs Team