Founded in 2013, Operation Delta Dog (OpDD) is an organization that addresses two big problems – an epidemic of veteran suicides and overflowing animal shelters – with one incredible solution: The training of shelter dogs to be service dogs for veterans with traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder and other invisible war wounds.
The trainers at OpDD work closely with local shelters and rescue groups to identify potential candidates for service work. These dogs are then formally evaluated, and if selected, begin a rigorous training and socialization program with a member of the OpDD team.
Upon completion of this program, dogs are then matched with veterans in need. OpDD takes great time and care matching the skills and personality of each and every dog with the needs and personality of each and every veteran.
LHK9 has been a proud supporter and partner of OpDD since 2014 and during that time more than 15 LHK9 dogs (and counting!) have become “Delta Dogs.” These special pups have gone on to be matched with veterans. We are proud to serve those who have served!
Since June 2016, LHK9 has partnered with Old Colony Correctional Center (OCCC) in Bridgewater, MA to pair foster dogs with minimum security inmates through the Prison Pups Program.
This program joins interested inmates, who must first apply to become handlers, with dogs in need of fostering, until they find their forever homes through LHK9. Inmates are paired with specific dogs based on the bios of both the dogs and handlers.
Each pup receives at least two weeks of intensive training, which includes work on basic commands, socialization, and manners. The pups also receive lots of love and one-on-one attention.
Since 2016, the Prison Pups Program has grown and now also includes the Rhode Island Department of Corrections’ minimum security facilities.
LHK9 partners with Massachusetts General Hospital’s (MGH) Pediatric Epilepsy Thrive Program to give adolescents with epilepsy the chance to work with and train dogs through Doggonit: Epilepsy is Ruff.
During 6-week program sessions, adolescent epilepsy patients work with certified dog trainers to train rescue dogs. The trainers put together curriculum to prepare the dogs for the Canine Good Citizen Test (CGC).
The adolescents and rescue dogs learn from each other as they work together and teach each other valuable life skills.
LHK9 partners with corporations, such as accounting and law firms, to help melt stress away with puppy kisses from young dogs (typically under one year old) via our Stress Puppies program. In exchange for a donation, LHK9 volunteers bring foster pups to corporate offices in the Greater Boston area.
Many companies utilize Stress Puppies during demanding or busy times to provide employees with the stress relief that only puppy snuggles can provide. The program offers the chance for employees to bond with colleagues and take a timeout during long work days.
Stress Puppies has also partnered with Home Base, a veteran and family care program, to bring puppy love to veterans free-of-charge.