View Products |  Sign In

Painted Paws Helps Veterans

November 25, 2020

When Tyler Warrick came home from serving in the Iraq war, he suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.

“My little dog, Moose, gave me a purpose to get up every day and deal with life,” he says.

That was the genesis of Painted Paws for Veterans, a nonprofit operating in Peyton that rescues dogs from across the United States, as well as locally, and helps train them to serve as companions to war veterans.

In October, the compound sheltered 74 dogs and a few cats as well. “We’re a big, big sanctuary,” says Warrick, who runs the nonprofit with his wife, Sara.

The name, Painted Paws, comes from the fact that canines are born one color and don’t show their spots, in the case of a Dalmatian, or other markings until they are 6 to 8 weeks old, Warrick says.

Both he and his wife are certified trainers who prep dogs to be service dogs. “We actually pick out the ones in the litters that have the right personalities for service work,” he says. But some dogs are adopted just as companions.

As the website explains, “We love our pregnant moms. We bring them to the Ranch and provide them with the medical care they so badly need during those critical weeks. We help them bring their babies into life and give them a safe place to grow. Once the puppies are old enough, we offer them to the general public for adoption. Our moms are often available for adoption as well, but they also have a lifetime home with us if necessary.”

Dogs come to the compound from kill shelters, and not all are immediately ready for adoption. Painted Paws is willing to take on dogs in need of rehab and give them a chance at a forever family, but they don’t accept dogs from people surrendering them for any reason.

“It is so critical for puppies to receive the proper socialization and obedience after they become part of a family,” the website says. “After they come to the Ranch, we provide them with the love, attention and structure they so desperately need. Many of these dogs go on to become our most successful adoptions.”

Warrick estimates that Painted Paws has paired dogs with up to 3,000 vets since it began in 2013. But that’s not its only mission.

The dogs are available for visits with vets, who want to interact with the dogs but not take them home. They also visit nursing facilities and Veterans Administration hospitals.

The nonprofit is run by a four-member board and relies on 25 volunteers. Warrick and his wife are the only full-time paid employees.

“We actually have a veteran who’s been volunteering for years,” he says. “In the last six months, he was so happy to get a dog. It not only helps him deal with the effects from Iraq, but he has that buddy all the time who lets him be involved with life and gives him a better purpose.”

Warrick’s personal companion, a Westie/Wheaten terrier mix named Ollie (Moose died some years back), is like a full-time medic. “He helps me with my seizures,” he says. “If I hit the ground, he will run to my aid, lay over my arms so I don’t hurt myself.

“If he feels me getting stressed, he’ll put his paws on me to try to calm that trigger moment.”

Sara says Painted Paws’ annual budget is $120,000, which covers salaries and goes to house, feed and train the dogs in two large rehab kennels and 14 senior and disabled cottages, and provide veterinary care and nutrition.

“Every publicly donated dollar goes straight to the care of the dogs and program expenses,” she says via email.

Adoption visits are by appointment only. There is no charge to veterans to adopt a dog from Painted Paws.

“Vets can benefit from animals,” Tyler says. 

Register Your Dog

  • Recent News

    PAWS With A Cause

    January 7, 2021

    Pebble Hill Plantation and the Thomas County Public Library are pleased to announce the upcoming Enlightening Bites program, “PAWS With a Cause,” on Friday, January 8, 2021 at noon in the Flipper Room of the Library. The program is being presented by Jeri Anderson, field representative. Anderson is recently retired from the City of Monticello, […]

    Read more

    Police Canine Team

    January 7, 2021

    Kingston Police revealed in a news release late Wednesday afternoon that they’ve been keeping a four-legged secret for roughly three months. The force announced it added a second canine unit, with the arrival of police service dog Dak this past October. He is working with Const. Jeff Dickson, while police service dog Bask is working […]

    Read more

    K9s For Warriors

    January 7, 2021

    K9s For Warriors, a nonprofit organization that provides military veterans suffering from severe PTSD, traumatic brain injury and military sexual trauma with service animals, recently changed the name of its main campus to honor its leader and founder Shari Duval. Duval began K9s For Warriors in 2011 after her son returned from two tours in […]

    Read more

    Journey The Service Dog

    January 5, 2021

    Several weeks ago, News Center 7 introduced you to a woman named Dottie Podiak, who’s service dog in training, Fate, died after ingesting rat poison. Podiak was worried that her current service dog, Blessing, was getting too old to help train another dog before he passed. However, that changed Tuesday when Podiak got to meet […]

    Read more

    Retired Service Dog

    January 5, 2021

    Horry County Police Department announced Tuesday the death of a retired service dog. Bloodhound Shelley died Monday morning at 11.5 years old, the department said. “It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of retired HCPD Bloodhound Shelley, who crossed over the rainbow bridge Monday morning at 11.5 years old,” the department tweeted. […]

    Read more

    Vets Suffering From PTSD

    January 5, 2021

    It’s estimated that anywhere from 11% to 30% of military veterans experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following their service, depending on the individual’s branch, years served and in what capacity. One way to help those struggling can be through the assistance of a service dog. To help serve the nation’s heroes, U.S. Xpress Enterprises Inc. […]

    Read more

    Service Dog Joins Team

    January 4, 2021

    While saving lives, paramedics and EMTs often find themselves providing emotional support to people on their worst days. So when the job is done and they’ve returned to their stations, they may need some comfort as well. Enter Indie: a smart and cuddly St. Bernard who recently joined East Baton Rouge Emergency Medical Services to […]

    Read more

    Service Dog Goes To School

    January 4, 2021

    When Remington Lewis rides the bus to Walton Middle School in DeFuniak Springs on Wednesday, he won’t be alone. This time, next to the sixth-grader will be his best friend Willow, a 1-year-old German shepherd. The Daily News ran an article in July about the Lewis family’s fundraiser to pay for Willow’s training as a service […]

    Read more