Tails from the Front Line

Official Blog of Guardian Angels for Soldier's Pet



Warriors’ Angels Program Graduates First Teams in Rolla, MO – Organization Makes Plans to Expand Program to Texas

Gatesville, TX, October 29, 2013 – Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet proudly announce the first two Warriors’ Angels certified Teams, Brandon/Buddy and William/Harley from Rolla, MO. The Warriors’ Angels (WA) program was initially introduced and implemented as a pilot program in Rolla, MO on 4/1/2013 close to the Fort Leonard Wood Warrior Transition Unit helping our service members going through the WTU who have been medically diagnosed with PTSD.

Brandon, Buddy and Susan
Brandon, Buddy and Susan

Susan Hinkle, the program’s Liaison volunteer representing Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet in MO oversees and covers the various coordination efforts involved between Team’s Handler (service member or veteran), their Primary Care Manager, the assigned program Trainer who provides the training in preparation for the program’s certification exam, and the AKC CGC certified Tester who provides the Warriors’ Angels Certification Exam.

Per Linda Spurlin-Dominik, Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet CEO, though there is no  official federal or state regulated certification exam at this time for these Teams, we established the Warriors’ Angels program and its Certification exam based on the standards and criteria defined by the International Association of Assistance Dog Partners ( related to the ADA (American Disabilities Act) minimum 3 task that mitigates the Handler’s disability, the AKC Canine Good Citizenship (CGC) 10-step program, and the Assistance Dog International (ADI) member organizations’ recommended Public Access Test (PAT). Linda also on behalf of Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet Jess Storie, owner of Patriot Kennels, Inc., Waynesville, MO as the SW MO training service provider and Jessi Queen, owner of Canine Connections in Rolla, MO, who provides the program’s defined Certification Exam.

Organization Makes Plans to Expand Program to Texas

William, Harley and Susan

Plans are underway by the Organization’s national office to implement the Warriors’ Angels (WA) program around January 1, 2014 in the state of Texas covering south Texas in the San Antonio area and Central TX covering areas of Fort Hood, Austin, Killeen, Temple, Belton, and Waco via the Army’s Warrior Transition program and the VA medical centers. The pilot program for TX is being developed, promoted, and will be implemented via volunteers, Linda Spurlin-Dominik, President/CEO MVP Sanctuary – TX, Cherie Boudreaux, TX Director acting as the program’s TX Liaison covering San Antonio and surrounding area involved with recruiting qualified Trainers/Certification Exam Testers, fulfilling volunteer roles of Assistant Liaison, Outreach Liaison, and Admin Assistant.  Temporarily Linda will cover the Central TX area in recruiting volunteers (Assistant Liaison, Outreach Liaison roles) and overseeing the develop of the Warriors’ Angels “Training Facility” to be located at the Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet national office located in Coryell County south of Gatesville and west of Fort Hood.  In addition, Cherie and Linda will be involved with fundraising efforts.  The determined cost per Team averages $2500 and program related expenditures (promotional materials, outreach efforts, program volunteer ID cards, etc.) determined to be $1,000 per quarter.  Cherie and Linda goal is to raise up $25,000 by January 1, 2014 so we have sufficient funds on hand to take at least 10 applicants initially between San Antonio and Central Texas.

Questions related to the Warriors’ Angels program and how to make donations to the program (covering the states of MO and TX) may be directed to Linda via the program’s main email address:

The Warriors’ Angels program was developed in support of service members  and veterans who have been medically diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and official recommendation has been received by Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet that an Assistance Service Canine (ACS) will help improve the service member/veteran’s quality of life.

About Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet©:

An ALL volunteer 501c3 Military and Veterans Support Organization supporting our active duty military, wounded warriors, veterans, and their beloved pets with programs to ensure these beloved pets are reunited with their owners following a deployment (combat or peacekeeping or humanitarian mission) and/or an unforeseen medical and/or homeless hardship. Also supporting our service members and veterans diagnosed with PTSD needing a specially trained assistance canine enhancing the service member/veteran’s quality of life.


Organization Launches Program Aimed at Helping to Identify Potential PTSD Assistance Canines

All volunteer 501(c)(3) non-profit military and veteran service organization cares for military and veterans’ companion pets.

Gatesville, TX, June 26, 2013 – Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet announces a new assistance program known as  “Warrior Angels” (WA) with the purpose helping our military members and veterans diagnosed with PTSD in identifying potential PTSD assistance canines, overseeing the appropriate training and certification of these assistance canines, and providing on-going follow-up with the Handlers and their assistance canines following graduation.  The program started as of April 1, 2013 and at this time is designated as a “pilot” (test) program in Rolla and Waynesville, MO.  The pilot program is interacting with the “Warrior Transition Unit” (WTU) at Fort Leonard Wood, evaluation/training/certifying service providers (Patriot Kennels, Inc. and Canine Connections Dog Training), and the Rolla Animal Shelter.

The pilot program was implemented based on the premise that all parties involved (the organization, pilot program’s Coordination Liaison volunteer, the accepted applicant, and authorized service providers) agree to coordinate, evaluate, train, certify, and follow-up with the Handler and assistance canine according to the “American Disabilities Act” (ADA) and “Assistance Dogs International” (ADI) published minimum standards for assistance dogs.

Susan Hinkle of Rolla, MO has been appointed as the organization’s WA Coordination Liaison overseeing the MO “pilot” program working with each Handler candidate and the chosen training/certifying service providers Patriot Kennels, Inc. (Jess Storie, owner/trainer) in Waynesville, MO and Canine Connections Dog Training (Jessi Queen, owner) participating in the MO pilot program.

In addition, where possible a pet owned currently by the Handler candidate is first choice to be evaluated to determine if the pet may be a good candidate to become an Warrior Angels’ certified “Assistance Canine” for his/her owner.  In the event the family pet does not meet the standards defined by the ADA and ADI, then the Rolla Animal Shelter in Rolla, MO has stepped forward as a “Supporter” to the pilot program by allowing the Handler candidate, Susan, and Jess to visit dogs in the shelter for identifying a potential “Assistance Canine” candidate.

Once an “assistance canine” candidate has been determined, the Handler and such candidate  will go through an up to 8-week training program in preparation for the “Canine Good Citizen” (CGC) and required “public access” tests in order for the chose canine to be certified as an “Assistance Canine” .

Though there is no actual fee charged to the Handler, the handler will be responsible for such “canine related expenses” regarding proper animal care, keeping the pet current on all required vaccinations, necessary veterinarian care, maintaining local licenses, and appropriate liability insurance.

Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet through their MPA fund (donations earmarked as WA) will cover costs (estimated not to exceed $2,500 per assistance canine) related to up front veterinarian services, evaluation, training, the official Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet official service dog vest with Handler and Canine picture laminated Identification card, and other costs related to the pilot program overall.

The funds for the WA pilot program are being obtained through Direct Public Support donations received from individuals, businesses/corporations, and other organizations, earmarked as “WA)”, which will be administered through the organization’s “Military Pet Assistance” (MPA) fund account.

According to Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet National CEO, Linda Spurlin-Dominik, “though the DoD and VA at this time have issued specific directives regarding PTSD service dogs (basically known as emotional support dogs), there is nothing preventing us from developing and testing a program that will further help these warriors to assist with such areas as proper training and testing using the ADA and ADI published minimal standards for assistance dogs in regards to providing these assistance canines to our veterans who have officially been diagnosed with PTSD  and per the appropriate military/VA physician feels having a properly trained and certified “Assistance Canine” will be a benefit  to the service member/veteran especially in public venues.”

In addition to the pilot program in MO at this time, the organization is planning to establish the program initially as a “pilot” program in other states as warranted and the appropriate volunteers and service providers have been identified and commit to being part of the WA program within their respective state.

Questions related to the “Warriors Angels” pilot program in MO may be directed by email ( to the Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet national office while the official “Warriors’ Angels” program web page is being developed.  A separate announcement will be made that this has been completed and the page is available on the website.

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