Operation Freedom Paws
REVEALING THE HERO IN ALL SHELTER DOGS, NO MATTER HOW BIG OR SMALL
Mary Cortani, Founder and President of Operation Freedom Paws, helps innumerable veterans live better lives. She and her staff hand pick dogs from local shelters and pair them with veterans confronted with PTSD, brain injuries and other challenges. Mary trains the veteran and their dog as a team to meet specific needs. One such dog warns his veteran before the onset of a migraine and fetches his medicine in an emergency. There are countless other stories of veterans gaining more freedom and confidence thanks to Operation Freedom Paws.
MARY CORTANI IS ONE OF CNN’S TOP 10 HEROES!
It all started in 2010 when a former Marine approached Mary about acquiring a service dog. Surprised at the multi-year long wait at formal institutions, she decided to utilize her abundant canine training to help the veteran and others in the same situation. Mary is an Army veteran herself and a certified Army Master Instructor of Canine Education with 35 years of experience training dogs. Mary looked to shelters with an abundance of dogs eager to learn and used her keen eye to pair just the right dog with each veteran. “The most amazing thing,” said Mary, “is to see the person and the animal transform into this amazing working team where they just help each other navigate life and they create a new normal. My life is blessed.”