top of page

Working Dogs For Vets
Dog Volunteer Program

Screenshot 2023-12-14 105122.png
While Working Dogs For Vets procures 98% of its Service Dog candidates from surrounding animal shelters, to meet the growing demand of veterans in need of service dogs, the organization occasionally accepts dog donations. Utilizing Prison Dog Training Programs where inmates help in training service dogs.  Since 2012, Working Dogs For Vets has Served over 3200 Service Dogs with veterans.
The Working Dogs For Vets Dog Volunteer program is in need of volunteers to help train and care for service dogs in training at HQ to help them continue to learn until they complete on-campus Service Dog training with their veteran. We need volunteers in order to help the In-House dogs till they are matched and paired with veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, military sexual trauma and/or other disabilities.
Kenneth Knabenshue, Working Dogs For Vets Founder and Wife Brenda Moody Knabenshue Co-Founders collectively program managers, overseeing the volunteers, Kenneth with experience as a K9 trainer, understands what animals need in order to be successful as Service Dogs. Brenda helps with communications. 
 Our primary goal is to save veterans and dogs alike. When it comes to adopting dogs from shelters, or taking dogs in from rescue groups they need training in order to be matched.  We can’t accept all dogs, but we do what we can. We are limited to availability of trainers. Dogs that are adopted by WDFV are trained in one of our 2 prison dog programs and then come to our in house program and are matched to l fit veterans’ needs, the process takes time so we are in need of volunteers to help!
This provides a longer-term opportunity Volunteers must be able to supervise dogs throughout the day, keeping up with manners and basic skills, and in depth tasks they have learned.  Also socialization opportunities outside of the campus.
Requirements to be a Dog Volunteer include:
  • Be at least 18 years old *Minors are accepted with a parent as a co-applicant.
  • Live within a drivable distance of National Headquarters in Lawrenceburg, TN.
  • Have regular access to a vehicle
  • Attend human-only classes with K9s trainers to ensure that you are knowledgeable in dog care and helping dogs to ensure they are trained in a manner consistent with Working Dogs For Vets programs
  • Attend obedience classes with WDFV trainers
  • Maintain a safe environment for respective dogs being trained
  • Provide appropriate socialization opportunities (i.e. public places)
  • Agree to Working Dogs For Vets Policies 
  • We offer a wide range of ways to get involved, each with varying requirements, responsibilities and commitment levels, and we provide all of our volunteers with guidance and training as needed. 
  • To ensure the safety of the organization’s people and property, and the animals in our care, we conduct a background check of our volunteers’ criminal history.
  • Additional background check components will be included based on the scope of the volunteer work. The organization will consider volunteer applicants with a criminal record on a case-by-case basis. Typically, crimes against people or animals, or crimes of a more recent nature, may be cause for us to decline a volunteer application.
Only have a few days to help out? Volunteer are on-call basis for a variety of reasons.
Outreach & Engagement
The entire experience is fulfilling and underscores the point that we are all stronger when we work together for the animals and veterans who need our help the most.
When you volunteer to help veterans and dogs, you help yourself
How volunteering for animal shelters, rescues and nonprofits improves your mental and physical health
If you have a full-time job and also attempt to be a good friend, partner, parent and pet owner, or foster you might assume that adding volunteering to the mix would make you feel more stressed. 
Yet numerous studies show the opposite: A 2015 study in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine found that people who both worked and volunteered actually had better mental health and fewer feelings of work-life conflict. A 2013 study from researchers at Carnegie Mellon University found that adults over age 50 who volunteered regularly were less likely to develop high blood pressure than non-volunteers. Most surprising of all, a 2012 study published in Psychological Science found that “spending time on others increases one’s sense of time affluence … driven by a boosted sense of self-efficacy.” 
In other words, giving your time in service of others can make you feel as if you have more time, even if your schedule is busier.
The good news is that for animal lovers, opportunities abound:  Working Dogs For Vets is almost always looking for people to help with animal care, administrative tasks, cleaning and laundry, and many shelters offer guidance on making inexpensive toys for residents or gathering pet care supplies like old towels and blankets from friends and neighbors. Working Dogs For Vets is recruiting volunteers to join our team. 
We are accepting applications for Volunteers! Over the past year, we have been fortunate to have Working Dogs For Vets supporters volunteer their time to help our veterans and service dogs. There are many ongoing and special on and off-site work projects at Working dogs for vets, and across the United States, that we simply don’t have enough staff to accomplish, so we have come to rely on the kindness of volunteers to assist us in keeping up. Your efforts will benefit both the veterans and the many dogs rescued from shelters in an important way! Every task, no matter how big or small, matters in the lives of each of our Veteran/dog teams. You will undoubtedly have the time of your life as you work side by side with another Veteran/dog enthusiast on a group project. Whether you are walking dogs, training, or helping in another way you are sure to create memories that you will never forget! 
After completing this form please contact us
by email: Support@WorkingDogsForVets.Org
bottom of page