PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Northwest Battle Buddies, a non-profit that gifts veterans with trained service dogs, is holding its 10th annual Freedom Gala Saturday.
The event will take place at the Oregon Convention Center and will showcase service dogs and the humans they serve.
Shannon Walker, founder and president of Northwest Battle Buddies, says her organization has gifted 170 professionally trained service dogs to veterans in the last 10 years. Of all the veterans who have received the dogs, Walker said none have died by suicide.
Walker said she’s received messages from veterans whose dogs have alerted to the adrenaline caused by suicidal ideations and have stopped them.
Jimmy, a veteran, spoke to KOIN 6 News’ Kohr Harlan and said he used to take multiple medications and was in and out of a psych ward before he received his trained service dog. Now, he says his dog helps get him out of difficult situations and gives him a reason to get up and get outside every day.
The Freedom Gala Saturday takes place at 4:30 p.m. The fundraiser will feature a live auction, silent auction, live music, and a puppy brigade. Tickets are available to purchase online.