Created as a satellite program of Patriot Paws Service Dogs in 2013, Patriot Paws of Aggieland connects student volunteers with professional service dog handlers to train and provide specialized service dogs at no cost to disabled veterans. Students in the organization teach dogs how to assist with household chores, help veterans interact with their environment, and even provide bracing for veterans who need assistance sitting, standing or walking.
Patriot Paws of Aggieland cares for approximately 35 dogs each year, preparing them to graduate the program and be placed with a veteran by the time they are roughly 2 years old. Jacob Palat ’20 (right), a member of the Texas A&M organization for more than two years, has helped train eight dogs like Elle, the 10-month-old Labrador Retriever pictured with him. He and Hannah Cole ’21 (left), pictured with 2-year-old Sebert, are two of the more than 95 Aggie students certified as handlers who help Patriot Paws Service Dogs meet the needs of veterans across the country.