Heroes, Supporters, and Community Members,
On November 23, 2019, the Dogs Helping Heroes Board of Directors held its annual retreat to debrief on successes and opportunities from 2019 as well as to set 2020 goals. As a result, the Board determined it was important to clarify, modify, and prioritize operations to ensure that we are continually aligned with all of our partners and the community as a whole.
First, there has been some confusion related to the prison training programs that we want to clarify for everyone. The Board discussed this issue at a board meeting earlier this year because we were facing a dilemma of a higher number of hero applicants than the number of dogs that could be placed through the prison training programs. To enable Dogs Helping Heroes to continue to meet the high demand of applicants, the Board authorized an alternative training system that could be utilized, including community-based training organizations. We are still committed to working with prison training programs whenever possible and look forward to developing new relationships with such programs to continue to utilize this important part of our dog placement process.
Second, effective January 2020, we will only work with approved, government recognized 501(c)(3) rescue organizations to source dogs for our heroes. This is a change in our system in that we will no longer permit evaluation of any applicant’s personal pet. In addition to being committed to our heroes, we are also committed to our dogs and believe it is of paramount importance to rescue as many dogs as possible given the huge need in our community. At the end of the day, we want to make sure that we are part of the solution and that we are not inadvertently supporting breeders who may not have the dogs’ or heroes’ best interests at the forefront.
In the coming weeks, we will be announcing our new committee chairs and encourage you to follow up with the applicable chair if you have any questions or concerns. As we have now placed nearly 40 dogs with deserving heroes, 2019 was another great year for our organization and we look forward to an even better 2020 with your help and support. Thank you!
The Dogs Helping Heroes Board of Directors