WACO, Texas — 25 News is donating to a local non-profit designed to save shelter dogs and provide emotional support for disabled veterans.
WhiteHaven Canine, founded by veteran Alan White, obtains dogs from local shelters and trains them in obedience and emotional support service. The animals are then donated to active duty members and veterans at no cost.
"If we can take a dog out of a shelter and give them a second life, it gives the disabled veteran a better quality of life," White said.
Currently, the organization is funded by basic and advanced obedience training that White hosts himself 6 days a week.
White founded the organization in 2018. Last year, he trained and placed three emotional support dogs out of his own pocket. With more financial support, the organization hopes to save 5-8 times more dogs and veterans every year.
"Most of these shelter dogs, especially the Humane Society right now, has been overflowing with dogs," White said. "When they get over 100 dogs there, they start having to euthanize them, the ones that have been there the longest."
Many veterans are in need of service or emotional support animals as they face post-traumatic stress disorder, military sexual trauma, or traumatic brain injuries.
White says that while training service dogs can take 18 to 24 months, emotional support dogs can be trained and donated to veterans in just three to four months.
"We felt that we could help more veterans in a shorter amount of time doing emotional support than working with service animals," White said.
Right now, WhiteHaven is only offering outdoor classes but is raising money for an indoor facility, which would keep classes going, rain or shine. Their goal is to raise $450,000 for the land and building.
25 News reporter Cierra Shipley was able to give the non-profit a check totaling $1,250 to support its efforts.
Each day, 22 veterans will commit suicide.
A new facility would allow WhiteHaven to train 15 to 24 shelter dogs each year, saving them and 15 to 24 veteran lives.
To learn more about WhiteHaven Canine and how you can help the organization reach its fund raising goal, visit their website.
If you would like obedience training for your pet while also saving veteran's and dog's lives you can learn more about the classes here.