AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – An Austintown man is using his artistic abilities and partnering with King and Queen Diamond K9 dog trainers to give back to those who sacrifice so much.
“I’ll be creating portraits of three of their service dogs, I’ll be doing hand-drawn drawings, and then we’re going to take those drawings and use those to put on coffee bags,” Ron Moore, Jr. said. “We’re going to sell bags of coffee all over the country so we can provide service dogs for wounded veterans.”
In order to make sure the veterans get access to the services they need he will be doing the portraits for free.
Taylor Carnell and Sarah Carnell own and founded King and Queen Diamond K9 in March.
James Grissom is a kennel master there.
They are all veterans. Taylor served in the Air Force, Sarah in the Marines, and James served in the Army.
They train dogs for service, obedience and protection.
They all suffer from PTSD and say having a dog has helped them cope.
“The dog puts a barrier between you and anything that is bothering you,” Grissom said.
Taylor said the dogs ease anxiety and also help people with day-to-day tasks.
“Dogs can be trained to remind a veteran to take their medication if they forget… if a veteran is having nightmares or flashbacks, a dog can stop that from happening,” Taylor said. “It can be another option, other than suicide. I don’t think that veterans realize how much service dogs can really help.”
They work with everyone, not just veterans, but their partnership with veteran-owned Warfighter Coffee Company in California will help them raise money to provide dogs for veterans.
“We’re going to make three different blends of coffee,” Taylor said.
Each bag will have a picture of one of their dogs on it.
“A percentage of that will go to helping provide veterans who can’t necessarily afford the cost of a service dog to getting them a service dog for free,” he said.
Diamond King and Queen K9 will find, train and give them the dog.
“If it wasn’t for veterans, we wouldn’t have a lot of freedoms that we have,” Moore said. “I think we need to stand up, if they need a service dog, to help them have a quality of life. They should have everything provided for them, and this is just one way to let them know that they are appreciated, loved and respected.”
For Sarah, transitioning from the military was difficult, and a dog gave her the strong bond she was looking for, and it allowed her to go out in public and be social like she used to be.
“I felt so alone, I didn’t know who to talk to, who to turn to. I didn’t know what to do really,” she said. “The dogs brought so much change to us all. I think it’s really important to try to get in touch with other veterans or even other people out there with certain diagnoses that can’t leave their house because they make beautiful companion animals and it calms people down a lot.”
They expect the coffees to be ready in two to three months. The coffee will be for sale at warfightercoffee.com.
Ron also said he is talking with Senator Michael Rulli about getting the coffee in his stores.
You can keep up with the organization on Facebook.
“The dogs need unconditional love just like humans do, and I think that’s a good thing for us to be able to do, to try to place dogs with veterans that need that unconditional love,” James said. “The dog can provide that and they can provide unconditional love for the animal that is being rescued.”