Blue Buffalo, the nation’s leading natural pet food, announced June 6 that it awarded $975,000 to Sierra Delta as part of a national campaign to support service dogs for veterans.

Sierra Delta is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the education, advocacy, promotion and funding of the service dog industry through a national network of established partners to train service dogs.

Sierra Delta and its network match veterans with highly trained Public Access Service Dogs to assist in emergencies, retrieve items, wake veterans from night terrors, and help with daily activities. They also match veterans with Non-Public Access Service dogs who need a trained companion but not necessarily a fully certified service dog.

“At Blue Buffalo, pets are our passion, and consistent with our mission, we focus on ways to help pet parents and non-profit organizations through charitable donations nationwide,” said David Petrie, Vice President of Philanthropy at Blue Buffalo. “We have seen the unparalleled impact a service dog can have on the lives of veterans when they partner with canine companions. Together with Sierra Delta, we want to put an end to the critical shortage of service dogs for our military heroes.”

An estimated 150,000 veterans need a highly trained service dog including hearing dogs, guide dogs, and those specifically trained to help wounded veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), loss of limbs and other injuries. The cost to train one service dog for duty can be more than $30,000 and take up to two years.

With a focus on advocacy and education of service dog standards across the nation, Sierra Delta is addressing a critical shortage of dogs that are trained to help our wounded warriors. 

“Service dogs provide necessary therapy options for veterans coping with both visible and invisible wounds,” said B.J. Ganem, President, CEO and Founder of Sierra Delta. “The generous support from Blue Buffalo fuels our ability to improve the lives of veterans who were disabled or suffering mental health challenges as a result of their service to our country.”

Through ongoing support over the past three years, Blue Buffalo has helped Sierra Delta and its partner organizations educate veterans on the benefits of service dogs and match dozens of specially-trained dogs with veterans across the country.

How to get involved

Veterans who want to know if a service dog is right for them can apply online at SierraDelta.org and a member of the Sierra Delta team will be in touch. Pet parents who want to show their support for service dogs and veterans can help Sierra Delta and Blue Buffalo spread the word through community events and local fundraisers.