July 6, 2022

Selfless service is not a foreign concept for Teresa and Dr. David King ’83 ’87. As a service dog trainer and veterinarian, respectively, the two have dedicated their lives and livelihoods to helping both humans and their furry friends.

Hailing from Garland, Texas, David first stepped foot on Texas A&M University soil in 1979, a suburban kid with a curiosity for biology and a love for animals. Eight years later, he emerged as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine with a mission to heal people’s beloved pets.

Teresa grew up on a farm in Celina, Texas, surrounded by her large family and livestock. She volunteered with a local veterinarian, who hired her part-time when she turned 16. After graduating from veterinary technician school, she worked for various veterinary hospitals and later crossed paths with David at a clinic in Lewisville, Texas. He recruited Teresa as his vet tech when he opened Crossroads Pet Hospital in 1989. The dynamic duo married soon after, realizing they shared more than just a love for animals. Side-by-side, they helped hundreds of patients during the hospital’s 14 years under their ownership.

Little did the Kings know, when they sold their practice in 2003, they were opening the door for new opportunities that would grow to impact thousands of veterans, first responders and civilians alike.

A Military Motivation

Selling their practice allowed David to use his expertise as a veterinary real estate consultant and Teresa to pursue her passion for therapy dog training. Founded initially as Sundowner Dog Training, Teresa’s new business first focused on personal training and handling for canine sports.

The goal of a service dog is to allow a veteran to re-enter society. That one dog’s job is to help that person return to normalcy. For each person I’ve worked with, it’s life-altering.
Teresa King

Soon, however, a heartfelt conversation with her father sparked a new goal for the company.

“My dad mentioned there was nobody left who cared if his generation of veterans was gone or if anyone would even attend their funerals,” Teresa remembered. “I was working with regular therapy dogs at the time, and I decided that my dogs and I would attend local unattended veteran funerals in his honor.”

From these funeral visits, Teresa made further connections in the veteran community. The more she learned, the more she noticed a need her business could fill: service dogs for veterans and first responders. Immediately, she took up the task, determined to show her father that those who serve are served in return. Thus, she established the nonprofit Valor K9 in 2013.

‘It Matters for This One’

Always looking to do more good, the Kings expanded their impact by investing in future generations of Aggies. Having experienced financial need while in college, David understands the struggles talented students can face when a lack of funds holds them back.

My single mother worked two to three jobs to put me through college, so that scholarship changed my life. I swore to remember his name and give back when I could.
Dr. David King '83 '87

“When I attended Texas A&M, I received an endowed scholarship. To this day, I still remember its name: the C.J. Red Davidson ’17 Scholarship,” David recalled. “My single mother worked two to three jobs to put me through college, so that scholarship changed my life. I swore to remember his name and give back when I could.”

After establishing two endowed scholarships honoring David’s mother and sisters, the pair decided to plan an Aggie Veteran Freedom Scholarship into their estate plan. After their lives, their gift will help veterans afford a post-service education, simultaneously supporting both Teresa’s passion for veterans and David’s love of learning.

While David hopes to help deserving students by funding more scholarships in the future, Teresa is continuing her steadfast work with veterans, first responders and civilians in crisis. Together, they are impacting the world every day, and the effects of their selflessness will continue to leave a mark long after they are gone.


“It’s like that old adage about the little boy on the beach throwing the starfish back into the ocean, and somebody says, ‘You can’t possibly save them all. Why do you bother?’ and he responds, ‘Well, it matters for this one,’” Teresa said emphatically. “That’s always going to be the case. We cannot be there for every single person, but we can promise that the people we have helped will never forget.”

Are you ready to plan your impact in Aggieland like the Kings? Contact Carrie Keller '99 at the bottom of this page.