By Joe Syznkowski
Dogs have always been essential to the well-being of veterans, whether they are working as a service dog or simply providing companionship. But when dogs come together with today’s modern technology, we can create a way for our furry friends to support our veterans further.
Dogs For Our Brave is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing professionally trained service dogs at no cost to veterans who have suffered debilitating injuries or illness while in service to our country.
“We truly believe this helps us save two lives at once,” said April Haskins, executive director at Dogs For Our Brave. “To fully realize our mission without adding financial burden, we also provide a continuum of free support that covers all food, veterinary care and pharmaceuticals for the life of the dog.”
Dogs For Our Brave approached the St. Louis-based company, Technology Partners, to help them develop a custom software solution that would enable them to automate their operations while creating a better veteran experience.
To address Dogs For Our Brave’s specific needs, Technology Partners’ custom software solutions practice began by conducting an in-depth analysis of the nonprofit’s operations and workflow. The result was a custom software solution that automated many of the nonprofit’s functions, including the management of dog training and placement, client management, scheduling and communications.
The system was built using a cloud-based platform, which made it accessible remotely, and user-friendly interfaces were designed to ensure that staff could easily navigate and utilize the system.
“We’re really excited about this app’s ability to digitize their processes,” said Stephen Deken, practice director for Technology Partners. “Dogs For Our Brave has an amazing mission, and we’re excited to play a part in driving a deeper engagement between our veterans and their dogs, as well as other veterans.”
The software solution also included a communications platform that provides real-time engagement between Dogs For Our Brave’s veteran community, making it easier for them to collaborate.
“I’m most excited about the veteran-to-veteran communication capabilities in the app,” Haskins said. “Our veterans will be able to chat with others like them about the process and their experience with our organization. You hear stories about veterans feeling like they are out on an island, so this type of application will help keep them engaged with others.”
The nonprofit organization successfully implemented the custom software solution developed by Technology Partners.
“The application helps continue our reputation as being an industry leader in service dog veteran-supporting nonprofits,” Haskins said. “These are very specific training requirements that we need to track and explain to our veteran community.
“For example, we have one veteran who is a double-amputee in a wheelchair. He waited 10 years before applying for a service dog because he wanted to make sure he found the right fit. His dog helps him by turning out the lights at night and is able to identify help from family members if needed.”
With 22 veterans a day taking their own life, Technology Partners and Dogs For Our Brave are committed to lowering that number to zero.
“This application will absolutely save a veteran’s life,” Haskins said.
For more information about Dogs For Our Brave, visit dfob.org.