Every month, up to a dozen disabled military veterans spend three weeks at the K9s For Warriors facility in Nocatee learning how to work with their new service dogs, rescue animals from around the country.
But before soldier “warriors” and their dogs are paired, the dogs undergo three to six months of pre-pairing training on the Nocatee Camp K9 campus.
Currently, there is room for up to 60 dogs.
But that is about to expand.
Jed Davis, President of DDI and Roger O’Steen, Founder and Chairman of The PARC Group, recently donated an additional 5.5-acres to the current 9-acre facility. K9s For Warriors plans to build mega-kennels to house an additional 250 rescue dogs on the new land, which “will increase the number of warriors we can pair with service dogs,” Public Relations Manager Brianna Bentov said. A veterinary technician center, and an indoor and outdoor training center are also slated be built there.
Nationally renowned, K9s For Warriors is the country’s largest provider of service dogs for veterans.
Founded in 2011, the not-for-profit organization is dedicated to providing service canines to veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injury and/or trauma as a result of military service post 9/11.
The canines, all rescue dogs, are at least a year old. They are also at least 24 inches tall, and weigh at least 50 pounds, enabling them to be able to support a warrior on command.
The Davis Family and The PARC Group donated the original 9 acres in 2014. That campus is located on Camp K9 Road, across from the Palm Valley Golf Course.
The new expansion will be located in western Nocatee, at the intersection of US1 and Nocatee Parkway, near RaceTrack Road.
K9s for Warriors has not released a construction timeline yet.
But on a recent Facebook post, the organization shared: “The entire team at K9s For Warriors are so thankful for the impact that this tremendous donation will have on the warriors and rescue dogs we serve.”