Local Non-Profit Gets Hefty Donation to Help Area Soldiers - kcentv.com - KCEN HD - Waco, Temple, and Killeen

Local Non-Profit Gets Hefty Donation to Help Area Soldiers

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GATESVILLE, TX - (KCEN) – On Wednesday PetSmart handed over a hefty $17,500 check to a local non-profit in Gatesville to continue helping area soldiers and veterans.

Each year PetSmart chooses a charity of their choice through their give back program. This year, five districts including, Austin/Waco, Dallas, San Antonio, Oklahoma and New Mexico pooled their money together to give a larger donation to “Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet”.

“He had to tell me over the phone it wasn’t a joke,” Linda Spurlin-Dominik said. “I still can’t believe it.”

Linda founded the non-profit in 2005 with the mission of fostering soldier’s pets while they were away on deployment. The organization quickly spread throughout the U.S. and hundreds of dogs and cats were placed in volunteer’s homes while their owners were fighting for our country.

But now Linda is on a new mission called Warriors Angels, a program aimed at training service dogs for soldiers and veterans suffering from PTST, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

“We hope to improve their quality of life,” she said. “And now it can be a reality, we can move closer to building the training facility, and get the program up and running.”

And already on the list – a familiar face to Linda. Guardian Angels came to Major Nancy Emma’s rescue during her deployments, and Linda personally fostered her small dog Snow.

Emma was just recently diagnosed with PTSD after her last deployment in Afghanistan, and she’s hoping to get a service dog through Linda’s non-profit.

“They will help you through it,” Emma said. “That’s what makes me so happy about the service dog, is that they will help you through anything.”

Linda says she already has two service trainers in San Antonio who will begin training dogs this July. Those trainers will also teach volunteers to train the dogs – cutting back on costs to the organization.

All the training and adoption fees will be free for the service member or veteran.

She’s also planning on putting several thousand dollars of the donation toward building the facility that will go on her property in Gatesville.

To donate or to find out more about Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet or the Warrior Angels program (click here).

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