MSgt US Marines John Hayes & Mia

John served as an EOD technician in Afghanistan. When a younger soldier realized he had forgotten to complete a task and ran back into the field, John ran after this soldier to stop him but stepped on a pressure plate his team had missed when sweeping the area. John lost both of his legs in this incident. He went to Walter Reed for surgeries, recoveries, and therapy. After nine years of living life in a manual wheelchair, John learned he is wearing out his shoulders. John had talked with our veteran partner Chris Miller about his service dog. Then, we got a call from John because he was ready to be more independent and a service dog was his last option. We brought John to St. Louis to meet the dogs in training, and when he met Mia they locked eyes and she let us know that this was her veteran. She spent the night with him at the hotel, and they were instantly best friends. The connection is critical in the matching process because we need the dog to form a tight bond with the veteran. Mia flew to Florida to be officially matched with John just before Christmas 2020. “She is an amazing gift!” John says, “Mia has done so much for me in such a short amount of time. The dream of having a service dog is now a reality.”


Our Partners

We’d like to extend a big thank you to our corporate and media partners for your generous support. Your help gives us the opportunity to do what we do, and give both service members and our rescued dogs a chance at a better life.