The Navy SEAL Museum’s K9 Project
Partnering with Baden K-9 in Ontario, Canada, with the generous support of dedicated donors, the Navy SEAL Museum has donated multiple working dogs to deserving veterans of the Special Operations community. This unique program creates an effective platform to help veterans assimilate back into civilian life by facilitating a special relationship between man and dog. The bond between elite operator and elite canine provides the structure and fellowship many veterans find lacking upon their transition to the civilian world, something they often feel is missing after leaving years of training and combat behind.
The Navy SEAL Museum’s K9 Project is unique because it seeks to serve military personnel and veterans from varied backgrounds with different needs. Working with Baden K-9 in Ontario, the K9 Project places dogs with individuals with diverse needs, such as mobility limitations, traumatic brain injuries, and post-traumatic stress disorder, providing them with working dogs that dramatically improve their quality of life–physically and emotionally.
Once a veteran is identified and a match is made with the right canine, the veteran and his family are given a high level of training to support the transition of the dog into the home. This helps to create a lasting bond between human and canine, but also nurtures the relationship between veteran and other military operators–active and retired–who are utilized to support the process. However, the mission does not stop once the placement is made: instead, the veteran is provided lifelong support and training, should they desire it. Baden and Museum both recognize that, as times change, so do the needs of the veteran and their family, and so both the Museum and Baden are there to to meet this challenge and offer the required support and training to meet the evolving needs.
The K9 Project aims to strengthen the Special Operations community with a common goal: coming alongside a brother who has served while he is reacclimatizing to civilian life after deployment, or during difficult times, in general. The dog is a wonderful tool to encourage hope, healing, and connection.
The K9 Project Gallery
“Getting a Baden dog through the Navy SEAL Museum profoundly changed my life in the best ways possible.
I am a SEAL reservist with almost 39 years of total service and over 20 years of active (SEAL) service.
During my SEAL career, I have been deployed to and operated in 22 countries. The years on the job have taken a toll on my physical and mental well – being. I found it very difficult to interact with people in everyday situations until I received my Baden dog through the Navy SEAL Museum. My outlook on life has improved significantly and once again I can function much better in daily social interactions.
Phil Ryan, along with Josh Perry, was instrumental in helping me obtain my Baden dog. Not only did I get a companion dog, but also I received some of the finest K9 training available at no cost.
Now I give back to both the SEAL Museum and Baden K9 by helping to coordinate the Frogman Foundry series at the museum. Educating the public about Navy SEALs and the K9 program.
I am very fortunate that I was selected to receive this wonderful dog and I would like to help others to have the same opportunity as I did.”
“I am confident Camo will provide me the grounding to better manage my chronic symptoms of anxiety, depression, and high alertness stemming from combat stress and minor TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury). Camo’s calm demeanor and loyal companionship will assist with my mobility to get out more and continue to move forward in life. At first sight, Camo helped me be at peace. I am confident from my time with dogs when I was younger, while deployed, and while at some treatment clinics that Camo will be a life-changer for me. I am overjoyed and eternally grateful for all the Navy SEAL Museum and Baden K9 have done for me and for what they do for my peers.”
“I am a former Navy SEAL. It has been and honor and a privilege working with the Navy SEAL Museum Demonstration Team, which unexpectedly started my journey in the K9 community and, ultimately, the Museum’s K9 Project. I have had several dogs as pets, but never had I achieved the bond that I have with my Baden K9 named Storm, a female Belgian Malinois. Storm was selected and trained by The Dogman, Josh Perry. She is forever bringing into focus my understanding and way of seeing the world around me. These are very special animals. Bred, reared, and trained in an ancient tradition forgotten by most. I never considered having a trained K9 as a companion. I certainly did not understand how beneficial one could be for me and my family. My understanding of this today only fuels my desire to do what I can to educate and assist as many other veterans that are interested in a K9 to have the privilege to experiencing what I have. They can provide home protection, retrieve prostatic limbs, detect depression and seizures, rebuild trust issues, help with situational awareness, rebuild social interaction and communication breakdowns, and simply bring peace and happiness at times when it is most needed.”