Canine Program

The Canine Program at Clear Path for Veterans is for those who are seeking an alternative and integrative form of healing and reintegration into civilian culture. Throughout a 6 to 12 month journey, veterans diagnosed with post-traumatic stress (PTS), traumatic brain injury (TBI), and/or experienced military sexual trauma (MST) will connect with their canine companions on a mutually beneficial level. This evidence-based training has proven successful in mitigating symptoms related to PTS and increasing self-compassion.


Interested in applying?

Carefully review program requirements through the following link.


Canine Guardian

Partnering service dogs with veterans could not be accomplished without the support of volunteers in the community. During their month journey to become service dogs, puppies are paired with committed volunteers that we call Canine Guardians. Canine Guardians provide service dogs in training a safe home environment, a trusting relationship, as well as access to training and socialization opportunities.

A Clear Path Canine Guardian must maintain the ability to:

  • Actively foster their matched canine for a period of up to 24 months.
  • Attend at least one weekly training session at pre-designated locations.
  • Provide a safe and consistent living environment.
  • Incorporate the matched canine into a daily routine including outings.
  • Provide transportation to and from Clear Path for Veterans’ headquarters facility in Chittenango, New York.
  • Provide supervision and monitor progress throughout the foster period.
  • Follow instructions as directed by the Canine Program staff.
  • Act as an ambassador to the Clear Path Canine Program.
  • Return the canine upon request.

Clear Path for Veterans is conducting ongoing recruitment of Canine Guardians and encourages anyone who is interested to complete the volunteer form here or reach out to the Canine Program at with further questions.

Puppy Ambassador

Puppy Ambassadors are volunteers within the Canine Program who help our Canine trainers and staff with daily tasks and training while the dogs reside on the Clear Path for Veterans campus. During this time, they will help the Canine team with scheduled activities crucial for successful puppy development. Activities may include but are not limited to exposing the puppy to new things, field trips and outings, and various forms of socialization. These activities are critical to later success as a service dog.

A Clear Path Puppy Ambassador must maintain the ability to:

  • Complete all weekly training sessions prior to meeting/training/interacting with our puppies.
  • Take puppies on outings or field trips.
  • Provide transportation to and from the Clear Path for Veterans headquarters in Chittenango, New York when needed.
  • Participate in play, walks, and social activities.
  • Act as an ambassador for the Clear Path Canine Program.
  • Assist in socializing puppies with items on our socialization checklist.

If interested in becoming a Canine Guardian or Puppy Ambassador for Clear Path's Canine Program please fill out a volunteer form here. For any questions regarding the form, contact Stephanie Venezia at

If you have any questions about the Canine Program, please email us at Thank you for your interest.

We are a proud member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT), a national organization with a core purpose of advancing excellence in the profession of dog training and behavior consulting.