The purpose of the maCares Service Dog Support Program is to relieve the financial burden of caring for a service dog so that the recipient can focus on trying to live a full and productive life. Our program provides financial assistance for service dogs which help those with physical or neurological challenges. The covered expenses include initial and re-certification training, veterinary, medications, grooming, and daily care including food.
Brittany is the first nonveteran to be welcomed into our Service Dog Support Program! Brittany developed Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD), currently referred to as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), which results in her experiencing weakness in every limb due to the pain. She is unable to feel certain sensations in her hands, like hot versus cold or sharp versus dull. She uses a wheelchair and crutches on a daily basis due to dystonia affecting her left leg.
Since July 2016, GRIFFIN has helped Brittany become more independent, as well as aided her in mobility by carrying items, retrieving dropped items, and even helping her communicate with others when she falls. GRIFFIN has also increased Brittany’s social interaction, by helping her to become more active and giving her the constant help that she needs, especially in her new environment while earning a graduate’s degree. GRIFFIN allows Brittany to focus on her life and enjoy life, by taking the focus off of the constant pain Brittany experiences daily. Brittany and GRIFFIN love to volunteer in the community, by giving to local shelters and working different events, like 5K’s at school. They also love sharing their story and how GRIFFIN has changed Brittany’s life.
faith Cares, a division of maCares, strives to change the life of veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and/or Traumatic Brain Injury and provides support for their service dogs. This program is named in memory of the late U.S. Army Sergeant Faith Hinkley, who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. faith Cares is a continual sponsorship program initiated in 2013 to assist veterans by raising funds to cover the expenses for their service dogs such as initial and re-certification training, veterinary, medications, grooming, and daily care.
SGT Terry White, PH OIF U.S. Army (Retired) served in the U.S. Army Infantry for 3.5 years and after he was injured, he served as an U.S. Army Engineer for 2.5 years. Since August 2011, FAITH has been a lifesaver to Terry and his family as she has comforted and helped each of them to be able to cope with the emotional trauma related to war. FAITH comforts Terry when the bad memories and survivor’s grief are overwhelming and his depression resurfaces. Without FAITH, Terry feels he may not still be here. FAITH also helps Terry cope with migraines, anxiety, and flash backs of being at war and seeing war injuries. FAITH and Terry actively attempt to help everyone they come into contact with- whether it is someone experiencing emotional distress, a child recovering from an accident, or visiting the VA Hospital. FAITH is named after the late U.S. Army Sergeant Faith Hinkley who died on August 7, 2010 in Iskandariya, Iraq. Faith was part of the 502nd Military Intelligence Battalion, 201st Battlefield Surveillance Brigade, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. The faith Cares program was created in memory of U.S. Army Sergeant Faith Hinkley where FAITH is the primary spokesperson/spokesdog.
SGT Robert Brown, U.S. Army (Retired) served in the U.S. Army Infantry during the Vietnam conflict. He spent two tours as a Tunnel Rat and was wounded twice. After 20 plus years, Bob found it difficult to leave his home. Since December 2012, AMY has helped Bob manage his stress and anxiety levels by demanding he redirect his attention to her when his stress levels start to rise. AMY will lick Bob’s face to awaken him from a nightmare. AMY also provides pressure therapy before Bob has a nightmare or his stress levels begin to rise. AMY helps Bob with his mobility by acting as a brace for Bob to help him regain his balance. If AMY is not able to help get Bob up by herself after a fall, she will alert Bob’s wife. Without AMY, Bob feels his life would be so much worse with the PTSD, moods, stress levels, and isolation. Bob and AMY enjoy spreading awareness about the difference AMY and other service dogs make in a person’s life. AMY’s namesake is in honor of a true American Hero, U.S. Army PFC Amy Renee Bullock-Sinkler who proudly served with the 17th Combat Sustainment Battalion 3rd Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, and died on Thursday, January 20, 2011 in the Baghlan province of Afghanistan while defending her convoy against insurgents.
SGT Keith Harrison, U.S. Army (Retired) served as a Combat Medic in the U.S. Army & U.S. Army National Guard for 24 years. Since June 2011, ELLIOTT has improved Keith’s quality of life by helping Keith to go places he normally wouldn’t, especially indoor crowds. ELLIOTT also comforts Keith during his migraines or when he is experiencing symptoms from his PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury. Keith considers ELLIOTT a lifesaver. ELLIOTT and Keith enjoy attending events that help others. ELLIOTT’s namesake is in honor and memory of SPC Daniel “Lucas” Elliott who died at the age of 21 on July 15, 2011, in Basra Iraq on his second tour in Iraq. Lucas’ last deployment in May 2011 was with the 805th MP CO, located in Cary, NC.
SSG Lacy B. Miller, U.S. Army (Retired) served as an Air Traffic Controller in the Army for 10 years. FELIPE has given Ben the ability to integrate into the public domain and has given Ben the confidence to be a part of society. FELIPE has helped Ben by reducing his anxiety and anger, providing comfort in settings Ben would normally not be comfortable in, interrupting nightmares, and providing a warning to oncoming seizures by encouraging Ben to sit or find privacy. Ben and FELIPE like to visit schools and educate others about service dogs as well as have children feel the calming effects of having FELIPE around. FELIPE is named in honor of Marine Cpl. Felipe C. Barbosa, an infantryman with the 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C., who died at 21 years old January 28, 2006 by a non-hostile vehicle accident in Fallujah, Iraq serving during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Barbosa had been in Iraq since September. He was a Marine from High Point, North Carolina, born in Brazil who became a U.S. citizen less than a year before his death.
SPC Travis Peele, U.S. Army served as a Tracked Vehicular Mechanic in Iraq for 4 years. Overseas, Travis performed route clearance searches for road side bombs (IEDs). His unit encountered and destroyed over 3,600 bombs. Travis was matched with DEUCE in 2011 when DEUCE was just 7 weeks old, and was able to take DEUCE home when he turned 7 months old. DEUCE helps Travis cope with the anxiety of being in crowded places, alerting when there is a spike in emotion, and interrupts nightmares by waking him up. Without DEUCE, Travis feels he would isolate himself from the world. Travis and DEUCE’s favorite way to give back is volunteering with maCares and teaching children and adults about service dog etiquette.
SFC Brock C. Strickland, U.S. Army (Retired) joined the army at 17 as an army medic. During his service, Brock spent time in Iraq as a medic and helped train Iraqi soldiers to be medics. Brock suffers from PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury, as well as migraines, sleeplessness, arthritis, and constant pain. Brock and TANNEN were matched in 2015. TANNEN comforts Brock when he is depressed, experiencing nightmares or migraines, and helps him feel safe in public, especially in large crowds, by distracting Brock to redirect his attention from his anxieties. TANNEN helps keeps Brock on a schedule. Without TANNEN, Brock feels he would be sleeping until 3 every day, not leaving the house that often, and would be less likely to talk to strangers. TANNEN has changed Brock and his family by allowing Brock to strive to be the father and husband he is meant to be. Brock and TANNEN enjoy helping other veterans train with their service dogs as well as educating the public about service dogs, which makes Brock feel like he has a purpose again.
LCpl Matthew Currin, U.S. Marine Corp (Retired) served as an Infantry Rifleman from January 2006 until June 2010. Since July 2015, CHAMPION has helped Matt overcome his isolation from the world, feelings of worthlessness, guilt, and anger. CHAMP has helped Matt handle things better, which has affected his relationships with his wife and children. CHAMP has turned around Matt’s life for the netter and closer to normalcy. In their short amount of time together, CHAMP has helped Matt through some rough times including the recent loss of a close friend that Matt could not have gotten through without CHAMP by his side. CHAMP also helps Matt mitigate his PTSD symptoms by responding to his panic attacks and alerting him when people are approaching from behind. CHAMP retrieves items due to Matt’s physical disabilities and as well as assists Matt in standing when he needs stabilization. Matt and CHAMP enjoy golf tournaments and banquets as it really allows people to see how service dogs help others, as well as meeting other veterans.