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Local Marine veteran attacked, forced to close nonprofit

Posted at 7:10 AM, Sep 08, 2023

WACO, Texas — For years, Marine Corps veteran Alan White has suffered from PTSD.

He's also helped dozens of other veterans fighting the same battle through WhiteHaven Canine.

That work is now in jeopardy.

“I was pretty much beaten senseless,” the dog trainer tells 25 News. "Chest, my face, my neck. Had a gash over my left eye.”

It happened in June when White was returning from a walk. In his apartment parking lot, he was suddenly approached and attacked, beaten nearly beyond recognition.

The past three months have been grueling.

“My PTSD has gone through the roof, losing vision in my right eye and it’s really caused some issues with our training,” says White.

Through his popular dog training business, White has become a recognizable face in Central Texas.

His work and dedication have been featured for years on 25 News and other local media.

Last year, he finally raised enough money to open a standing facility in Waco.

But because of his injuries, the facility and the nonprofit arm of WhiteHaven are being forced to close.

It was through the nonprofit he often paired other veterans suffering from PTSD with service dogs like his "Szva."

“At times I’m fearful of leaving the apartment. I leave there, I come here to work with dogs, but at the same time it’s harder to get out and get that energy to work with dogs,” he said.

He’ll still do some private lessons, but the nonprofit and training facility building will shutter by year's end.

Juan Rodriguez, 29, is the suspect in the case. He's currently in the McLennan County Jail facing felony assault charges and an immigration hold.

Documents show he was recently indicted by a grand jury.

White hopes to continue training on a limited bases, but says his recovery must take precedent.