WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, October 31, 2022 — American Humane, the country’s first national humane organization and the world’s largest certifier of animal welfare practices, today announced that Window World of Southern Colorado, a franchise of the largest exterior remodeler in the U.S. based in Colorado Springs, awarded the organization with a grant in support of its Pups4Patriots™ program. Pups4Patriots provides free, specially trained service dogs, including rescues, to veterans diagnosed with post-traumatic stress or traumatic brain injury.
“Our Pups4Patriots program has saved countless lives by putting healing leashes into the hands of veterans in need across the country,” said Dr. Robin Ganzert, American Humane president and CEO. “This critical mission to help our veterans simply wouldn’t be possible without the generosity of organizations like Window World of Southern Colorado, whose charitable grant will help us provide lifesaving love and support to our country’s heroes who need us to serve them after they’re finished serving us.”
Proceeds from the grant supported the pairing of U.S. military veteran Jacob with his new service dog, Minnie. The pair were formally introduced as graduates of the program in September.
“As we went through the training and focused more, not just on our dog, but being able to focus on that next step and knowing that our dog is there, we’re not focusing on the things around us because we have our partner right there,” Jacob said at his Pups4Patriots graduation. “Our partner is focusing on us, so we become kind of one as a result.”
Chris & Kiersten Lehmkuhl, local owners of the Southern Colorado Window World franchise, learned about the Pups4Patriots program at the Window World Family Reunion event in Phoenix this summer, where a veteran and his new service dog sponsored by the corporation were introduced. Following the parent company’s lead, Window World of Southern Colorado became the first of their over 225 franchises to support the program.
“We couldn’t have dreamed of a more perfect opportunity to lend a helping hand. The ability to sponsor a local veteran from our community here in southern Colorado with a rescue dog in need of a loving home and family, and to have them paired and trained by such caring and skilled teams at American Humane, it perfectly aligned with our core beliefs and mission,” Kiersten Lehmkuhl said. “Everyone at Window World of Southern Colorado is a proud supporter of our active military, veterans, and their families. We cannot thank them enough for all their sacrifices. The Pups4Patriots program is one small step in supporting our veterans and we hope others will join us in that support.”
To date, American Humane has provided service dogs and training to more than 200 veterans across the country.
“We are so thankful for Window World Southern Colorado’s support in this important endeavor,” Dr. Ganzert said. “With their generous grant, we have been able to help put a healing leash in the hand of yet another veteran who will go on to live the fulfilling and rich life that they so thoroughly deserve.”
Service dogs are an invaluable asset to veterans who have sustained trauma, but there are significant obstacles to receiving one. Properly training a dog to perform their needed tasks and remain calm and focused in public areas can be expensive and time-consuming. Even when the cost isn’t an obstacle, wait times can still be prohibitively long as veterans navigate red tape.
Through the Pups4Patriot program, American Humane provides service dogs to veterans at no charge to them in both a timely and efficient manner.
“[Minnie] is a partner that is going to help you go into scenarios that you might not always want to,” Jacob said. “Places that you never thought that you’d be able to go to, this animal might be able to help you do those things now. The word ‘never’ will be taken out of your vocabulary.”
The Pups4Patriots program is made possible through the generous support of donors. To learn more, and help fund more stories like these, visit www.AmericanHumane.org.
About American Humane
American Humane is the country’s first national humane organization and the world’s largest certifier of animal welfare, overseeing the humane treatment of more than one billion animals across the globe each year. Founded in 1877, American Humane has been First to Serve™ the cause of animals and for 145 years has been at the forefront of virtually every major advance in the humane movement. For more information or to support our lifesaving work, please visit www.AmericanHumane.org, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and subscribe to our channel on YouTube for the latest breaking news and features about the animals with whom we share our Earth.
About Window World of Southern Colorado
Locally owned by Chris and Kiersten Lehmkuhl, Window World of Southern Colorado was founded in 2007 and is a franchise of Window World Inc.®, America’s largest exterior remodeler. With over 225 locations nationwide, Window World serves homeowners from coast to coast with quality window replacement, exterior doors, and more. Founded on the principle of offering high-quality products at a fair price, and that distinction remains true today. Through the Window World Military Initiative and Window World Cares®, we support our veteran community and those in need. And as a Military Friendly® Employer, we create engaging opportunities for veteran and military communities that include hiring, career advancement, and charitable contributions.