President’s Message

Department of Virginia President

Dear Department of Virginia ALA Members,

Department President’s Special Project

Post-Traumatic Stress Disease (PTSD) is a mental health chal- lenge that some people develop after experiencing a life-threatening or traumatic event. Research shows that 5-20% of veterans suffer from PTSD. They become angry, depressed, or anxious. Many studies show that service dogs can be of great aid in coping with PTSD.

I am excited to share that MK9s-Service Dogs, a 501 © (3) organization has been selected as my Department President’s special project for the 2022-2023 Auxiliary year.

MK9s mission is to supply highly trained service dogs to maxim- ize the independence and quality of life for our veterans who suffer from mental disabilities such as PTSD.

MK9s is 100% volunteer based. A dedicated volunteer team rais- es and trains each puppy. Volunteers come with strong military backgrounds or many years of experience in the service dog training environment. All administrative functions, service dog training, mentors, are provided voluntarily.

Puppies are specifically matched with the Veteran and the Vet- eran begins working with their puppy at 8 weeks of age. Training takes place for approximately 18-24 months.

I am optimistic of being able to sponsor and name a puppy for a Veteran. Make your check payable to ALA Department of Virgin- ia, earmarked President’s special project.

Full Speed Ahead,

Pamela Elam-Lipscombe, Department President