The K9 Companion team interviews each veteran to find what he or she is looking for in a partner pet, and learn more about their personality and lifestyle to make the perfect veteran-pet match. Once selected, the pet then spends time in the home of a K9 Companion trainer who teaches the pet basic obedience and other important behaviors necessary to live with his/her new owner. This can include becoming comfortable with wheel chairs or behaviors that will help with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).
The K9 Companion program helps both animals and veterans, by rescuing shelter pets, training them, and pairing them with American veterans. Studies have shown that these companion animals can help improve physical and mental health by reducing stress, depression, and anxiety, which are symptoms often experienced those serving in the military. Any veteran in the chapter area who would benefit from having a companion animal and is able to care for a pet is eligible for the program.
At Photos By Burd’en, we love animals, and love pet photography. We also love to give back to our community, and have a special place in our hearts for Veterans. We have partnered with the K9 Companion program, delivering memorable photos of veterans who enter the program and their new furry family members. Pets can bring so much joy to a person’s heart, and we love to capture this in our photographs. In addition to taking photos of a veteran and his or her pet after they enter the program, Photos By Bur’den takes pictures at various K9 Companion events. Photos by Bur’den is an active volunteer and the official photographer for K9 Companion's
It is an honor to photograph the joy that comes from this wonderful program, and a lot of fun, too! Take a look at some of the photos above, and visit the Pets for Vest West Michigan website for more information about the program.