Nonprofit dedicated to providing Service Dogs to those in need honored to receive second VETTY Win from the Academy of United States Veterans
of the 2021 VETTY award in the suicide prevention category, presented by the Academy of United States Veterans. Guardian Angels is a national 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to rescue, raise, train and donate highly skilled medical service dogs to veterans, first responders and individuals to mitigate the challenges of both visible and invisible disabilities.
We are so proud of everyone connected with our organization. From staff to volunteers & trainers everyone involved has played a critical role in advancing our mission of changing the lives of veterans.”— Carol Borden, Founder & CEO
Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs’ recipients suffer from PTSD, military sexual trauma, traumatic brain injuries, diabetic and seizure disorders, mobility issues and more. These disabilities can often lead to feelings of isolation and depression for those affected. The highly trained service dogs that Guardian Angels provides to its recipients help improve those recipients’ overall health and happiness, restores their sense of freedom and independence, and creates a new normal full of possibilities.
Over the past 11 years, Guardian Angels has provided hundreds of service dogs to individuals across 29 states. Not a single
Guardian Angels Medical Service Dog recipient has been lost to suicide.
“We are so proud of everyone connected with our organization,” says Carol Borden, Founder and CEO of Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs. “From staff to volunteers and foster trainers, everyone involved has played a fundamental role in advancing our mission of making a difference in the lives of veterans and our other recipients. It’s an amazing honor to have our work recognized by the Academy of United States Veterans.”
This marks the nonprofit’s second VETTY win and fourth year as a finalist for a VETTY award. The organization previously won the award in 2018 for outstanding efforts in veterans’ mental health. The Academy of United States Veterans established the annual VETTY awards to recognize those that contribute to the well-being of the veteran community.
The 6th annual VETTY award gala was held at the Andrew W Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C. on July 3, 2021. Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs Recipient and Advisory Council Co-Chair, Chris Cadigan was in Washington, D.C with his service dog, Brit, to accept the award from actor Casey Affleck.
As he accepted the award on behalf of Guardian Angels Cadigan said, “This week, I attended the memorial service and funeral of two friends who succumbed to their invisible injuries. It is unknown if a medical service dog could have helped them. Both had met my dog and were considering the application process at the time of their deaths. Should you have the ability to make a donation to help train and pair an amazing dog [through Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs] you’ll have a direct impact on helping a veteran.”
To learn more about how Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs works to prevent suicide among veterans and others affected by disabilities, visit https://www.medicalservicedogs.org/
Guardian Angels are thrilled to announce that we have been awarded a VETTY Award in the Suicide Prevention category by the Academy of United States Veterans (AUSV).
On Saturday, July 3, 2021, the AUSV held their Vetty La Vie Awards ceremony. Actor and philanthropist, Casey Affleck presented the award for Outstanding Service to Veterans in the Suicide Prevention Category to Guardian Angels’ Recipient and Advisory Council Member, Chris Cadigan, with Service Dog Brit at his side.
Chris’ moving speech read
“On behalf of our founder, CEO, and tireless advocate Carol Borden, our board, staff, countless volunteers, foster families, donors, and all the Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs Recipients, I would like to thank the Academy of United States Veterans for this recognition of 11 years of amazing work, donating hundreds and hundreds of dogs to recipients in 29 states.
Carol and Guardian Angels, have not lost a single recipient to suicide, and have less than a 2 percent divorce rate; lower than the Disabled Veteran rate of 90 up to percent higher than the national rate of 47 percent. We have one of the only college accredited, paid, service dog training apprentice programs, in the entire US which have been approved by the Veterans Administration under the GI Bill and are also taught to incarcerated Veterans.
Guardian Angels have participated in several notable research studies, reinforcing their program’s success, and has a proprietary 6 life-stage training program based on the mental learning capacity of a dog at various stages which builds self-confidence, the ability to think and make life saving decisions, be desensitized to things that would otherwise be scary, and never present a public safety threat, all through positive reinforcement training. In the last year, Guardian Angels created a Medical Savings plan for all of our service dog teams to further enhance the lives of the dogs. Dogs like Brit, by my side, here tonight ensure that our recipients are alerted to their unique diagnosed disabilities quickly; efficiently allowing them to effectively address an onset of symptoms which in many cases allows them to live their lives more fully.
This week, I attended the memorial service and funeral of two friends who succumbed to their invisible injuries, One a US Navy SEAL, friend, mentor and the other a classmate, fellow Army Officer and the friend that I chose to be my best man at my wedding. They had everything to live for, including a family that loved them, teenage children who excelled academically and athletically…..and long and distinguished careers that they could be proud of. It is unknown if a medical Service Dog could have helped them. Both had met my dog and were considering the application process at the time of their deaths.
Guardian Angels receive up to 40 inquiries each day. There is an average wait of approximately a year for any veteran applicant. Should you have the ability to make a donation to help train and pair an amazing dog like Brit, at MedicalServiceDogs.Org you’ll have a direct impact on helping a veteran and Guardian Angels continue this important work.”
This award represents Guardian Angels’ 2nd VETTY win. We were honored to receive the VETTY Award in the Mental Health Category in 2018. Watch Chris’ fantastic acceptance speech below.