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Carol Lansford talks about Valor Service Dogs

Executive director Carol Lansford chatted about her nonprofit organization Valor Service Dogs.

Valor Service Dogs
Valor Service Dogs. Photo Courtesy of Valor Service Dogs
Valor Service Dogs. Photo Courtesy of Valor Service Dogs

Executive director Carol Lansford chatted about her nonprofit organization Valor Service Dogs in Florida.

A nonprofit organization, Valor Service Dogs helps wounded post-9/11 veterans and first responders regain their independence, return to civilian life, and maintain successful partnerships through the training and placing of mobility assistance and PTSD service dogs.

Inspiration to start Valor Service Dogs

On her inspiration to start this charitable organization, Lansford said, “I started Valor Service Dogs because of my husband, a combat wounded veteran with complete and permanent physical disabilities.”

“I understands the real life challenges facing these wounded veterans and their families, and both myself and my husband are committed to placing life-changing service dogs with America’s heroes,” she added.

Future plans

On her future plans with Valor Service Dogs, she remarked, “Every year we grow a little. We started operations out of my apartment in 2015 and now we own property with three functional buildings on three acres of land in Hillsborough County.”

“We originally started by purchasing dogs from reputable breeders and this year we launched our own breeding program. In the future, I expect to have the same steady growth that allows us to better serve our population and help more deserving individuals,” she said.

“We are currently an Assistance Dogs International Candidate Member and by the end of this year, we plan to become fully accredited by the most prestigious agency of Assistance Dog Organizations,” she added.

Proudest professional moments with Valor Service Dogs

On her proudest professional moments with Valor Service Dogs, she revealed, “Some of my proudest moments are graduating our first dog, moving into a permanent facility that allows us to grow infinitely, launching the breeding program, launching a sister campus in South Georgia.

“Most importantly, my proudest moments are seeing each and every dog graduate with the drive to serve worn proudly on their faces and seeing their recipient meet their dog for the first time. That feeling will never get old,” she said.

The digital age

On being a nonprofit in the digital age, now with streaming, technology, and social media being so prevalent, she said, “Being a nonprofit this day in age is exciting! We have such an ability to reach places we never would have been able to and to spread our mission all across the globe.”

“We have received donations from people all over the world and we are able to place dogs in all 50 states, which allows us to help the most deserving heroes regardless of location,” she said.

Samantha’s Friends

She shared that she enjoyed being a part of yet another charitable nonprofit organization, Samantha’s Friends, which helps multiple charities in Florida.

“We love the Samantha’s Friends events. They are so fun and energetic,” she exclaimed. “We hope to be invited back again, we so look forward to being apart of such a wonderful charity and what started as simply spreading awareness at this event has turned into seeing friendly faces and making friends.”

Success

On her definition of the word success, she explained, “At Valor Service Dogs, our success can be defined by our happy, healthy dogs meeting and working for people who deserve them and so much more. When I get texts or emails or calls from recipients telling me something their dog helped them with or through that day, I know I am in the right place doing the right work.”

She continued, “Some of our recipients tell us that their dog saved their family, their marriage and even their life, and what is so beautiful about that, is that our dogs never know how important they are and how much they are needed.”

“They live everyday with a smile on their face and a wagging tail and to them, that is everything. And seeing these partnerships thrive is what i would define as success,” she said. 

Closing remarks on Valor Service Dogs

Lansford remarked about Valor Service Dogs, “I hope people learn that it is okay to ask for help, it is ok to focus on your mental health and it shows such strength to get help when you need it.”

“Our veterans and first responders give so much of themselves to make the world a better place, I hope people never forget the value of a man or woman who would lay down their life for the greater good,” she added.

“Anyone looking to get involved or to donate can learn more about us at our website. We have many ways to volunteer and the backbone of our organization is our volunteers. We are always in need of puppy coaches, the volunteers who raise our dogs from eight weeks old to 18 months old,” she concluded.

For more information on Valor Service Dogs, check out their official website.

Markos Papadatos
Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 21,000 original articles over the past 18 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a 16-time "Best of Long Island" winner, where for three consecutive years (2020, 2021, and 2022), he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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