The Dish - News & Happenings

Animal Care Services
Published on Thursday, January 17, 2019

Animal Care Services and K9s For Warriors partner on lifesaving large dog program

Nationally renowned service canine training organization to build training center on ACS campus; focus on harder-to-rescue big dogs

CONTACT: Lisa Norwood, 210.207.6665, 210.315.3130 
Brianna Bentov, K9s For Warriors, 904.686.1956


SAN ANTONIO (Jan. 17, 2019) - San Antonio City leaders have voted in favor of a new partnership between Animal Care Services and national nonprofit K9s For Warriors to bring a new canine center and rescue program to the Alamo City. Today’s agreement approves an initial ten-year lease of three acres of ACS property to build a canine training facility for use by K9s For Warriors in their service dog training program. The initiative would focus on larger dogs and 200 ACS pets are expected to work their way through the training to become PTSD service animals throughout the country.


The Florida-based nonprofit currently operates two campuses in their home state and the national expansion will be a big boost for the dog rescue aspect of its program. “The prospect of bringing our national nonprofit to San Antonio is thrilling to us,” said Rory Diamond, K9s For Warriors CEO. “We’re more than ready to help the homeless dogs there find a new purpose as a lifesaving PTSD Service Dog. To achieve that, over the course of the next year, K9s For Warriors will be engaging the San Antonio community to build a base of volunteers and donors to ensure the organization’s success in the Alamo City.” Animal Care Services Director Heber Lefgren says placement partners have help transform the shelter. 


“Collaboration continues to be the core of ACS’ success,” said Lefgren. “We’re thrilled to have a partner to support our mission and help our country’s veterans. K9s For Warriors has a big heart for these big dogs and we love that they will be saving a life to save another.”  While the program will begin in the spring, a recent investment from the San Antonio based Petco Foundation is expected to aid in construction of the canine center itself which will kick off later this year. Since 2011, K9s For Warriors has paired disabled American veterans with highly trained PTSD Service Dogs, over 90% of which are from shelters. San Antonio Animal Care Services credits a robust placement program with partners like K9s For Warriors with helping the City achieve a 92% live release rate in FY18.