Labs for Liberty’s program is customized for each Veterans specific needs. First, L4L identifies dog recipients through a concise application process. After recipients are identified a puppy is specifically chosen for each recipient based on that individual’s needs. At 8-12 weeks of age, the recipients receive their first photos of their puppy and subsequently name their own puppy.This simple act creates a visual bond and for many that are suffering, is the light at the end of the tunnel. At this point, the pair officially joins the L4L family. From that time on, the dog belongs to that Veteran, as we nurture and train that dog explicitly for their needs.
Throughout the process, fosters and trainers maintain contact with each Veteran, sharing photos, videos, and information regarding the dog’s progress. There is also constant dialogue in regard to needs for which the dog can be trained. We make every attempt to include the Veteran in the development and custom training of their service dog. When dogs are fully trained, between 8 and 14 months of age, the Veteran is flown to Utah to spend a week training and acclimating with their new service dog. All aspects of training are covered during this week, including socialization, public access, obedience, and specific tasks. The Veteran and their service dog are together 24/7 for that week. When the pair depart at the end of the week, they do so knowing support is only a text, phone call, or email away at all times.