It’s the fifth day of my 12 Days of Charitable Giving for 2017. Readers have suggested deserving charities over the past few weeks, and I’ll be posting one a day for – well, 12 days (I’m clever that way). Today’s charity is K9s for Warriors.

K9s for Warriors has, as its mission, to save warriors and rescue dogs. K9s For Warriors is dedicated to providing service canines to those suffering from Post-traumatic Stress Disability, traumatic brain injury, and/or military sexual trauma as a result of military service post-9/11.

The organization’s founder, Shari Duval, created K9s for Warriors after her son, a veteran K9 police officer, returned home from two tours in Iraq with PTSD. After two years of research on canine assistance for PTSD, she decided the best way to help others in similar circumstances was to start a non-profit organization to train and give service canines to assist in efforts to return to civilian life with dignity and independence.

K9s For Warriors’ training facility is located in Ponte Vedra, Florida. Camp K9 is a 17,000-square-foot headquarters with a full kitchen, dining hall, lounges, exercise room, and library/card room to accommodate the Warriors while class is in session. There, Warriors train and become partnered with their new service dogs.

So how can you help?
To make a one-time or recurring donation by credit card, head over to the organization’s donor page on its website.

You can also sponsor a dog which gives you, among other things, the right to receive progress updates of your dog, including photos and an invitation to their graduation ceremony. You may also be able to name the dog (subject to approval and availability).

You can also help raise a puppy or foster a dog.

Remember that as a volunteer, you can’t deduct the value of your time, but you can deduct the value of out-of-pocket expenses. Keep excellent receipts.
As always, you want to make sure that your donation is going to a qualified charitable organization. A search using the IRS’ Exempt Organizations Select Check reveals that K9s for Warriors is on the list.

To find out more about the work of the organization, check out their website, like them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter and Instagram.

I often suggest checking out third-party sites like Charity Navigator for more information about charitable organizations, including evaluations and access to tax forms and other financials. K9s for Warriors is not ranked by Charity Navigator. The site explains, “This organization is not eligible to be rated by Charity Navigator because we require organizations to have filed at least 7 full years of form 990’s (excluding 990-PF and 990-EZ) with the IRS and this charity has filed less than 7. In the future, this ineligibility may change.”

Remember: submissions to the 12 Days of Charitable Giving are made by readers, and in most cases, I can’t personally vouch for the good work that these folks do. So be generous but be smart: Do your homework.

For more on making charitable donations, check out this prior post.

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Kelly Phillips Erb is a tax attorney, tax writer, and podcaster.

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