Rescue Rewards Featured Group - June 10, 2013

Rescue Dogs are Rescuing Veterans

When Jim Stanek returned from his third deployment in 2008, he was injured physically and emotionally. His injuries prevented him from continuing his 6 ½ year career in the Army, and he was medically retired.

The PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury, TBI, continued to create high anxiety, and he found it difficult to cope. His wife, Lindsey, saw how the therapeutic dog in the hospital allowed Jim to rest, even sleep peacefully, in the common area, so she adopted a companion for Jim. The Catahoula mix, Sarge, helped Jim become more relaxed and feeling in control again.

They learned how service dogs can change the lives of veterans and other suffering from PTSD and TBI. However, service dogs come at a high cost -- $10,000 to $60,000 – a cost that vets can’t afford.

Paws and Stripes was born of the need for affordable service dogs to help those afflicted to live meaningful lives again. In a 3 step process where the third step is rescuing a dog to become a service dog, Paws and Stripes takes the vet to a shelter where they pick out ‘their’ dog. Training the dog for service is provided and support is ongoing.

Paws and Stripes is based in Rio Rancho, NM. To learn more or to donate, visit