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News Articles

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Spectrum News Bay News 9

December 2, 2023

Man to run 100 miles supporting service dogs for vets, first responders

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - A St. Petersburg man is literally taking his efforts to help veterans and first responders suffering from PTSD on the road. Mike Koprowski is running 100 miles later this month to raise money for service dogs. For Mike, fitness is more than a way of business. It's a way of life. When he contemplates the last two or three years, he says fitness saved his life. He said everything in his life was looking up until March 10, 2020, when his brother-in-law and mentor Ryan Maer died from suicide...

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Greene Publishing, Inc.

May 2, 2023

Forgotten Coast K9 pairs dog with a veteran

Madison, Fla. - Jules Lopez, a Marine veteran of three and a half years from New England, was recently in town to meet a new friend and companion by the name of “Ghost.” Ghost is a two and a half-year-old Belgian Malinois who has received basic training from Forgotten Coast K9. Ghost has been paired with Lopez to work as a service dog. Like many veterans who have returned from Afghanistan, Lopez has had issues with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Ghost has already been trained to recognize those symptoms and assist Lopez as she needs. Ghost will also undergo a very specialized training regimen, specifically for Lopez.

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WSVN

April 29, 2022

Florida Woman sets swimming record at Longboat Key Island

(WSVN) - Swimmer Julie Madison was greeted to the sounds of victory as she rounded the bottom parts of Longboat Key Island. “Just to hear the cowbells and to hear the horns, that really helped get me through the victory lap of five miles,” said Madison. Last week, Madison became the first person to ever swim the entire 21-mile circumference of the island, which took her 11 hours. “For comparison, that’s pretty much like doing four marathons of running, so it takes a a lot of nutrition and a lot of coordination with the kayakers,” she said.

The open-water swimmer said the swim was incredibly difficult.

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WFTS

April 27, 2022

Manatee County Woman first to swim 21-miles around Longboat Key.

LONGBOAT KEY, Fla. — Last week, Julie Madison became the first person to swim the entire 21-mile circumference of Longboat Key. For comparison, that's pretty much like doing four marathons of running," she said. "So, it takes a lot. A lot of nutrition and a lot of coordination with the kayakers."

She said her mission is to inspire people to challenge themselves and to raise awareness for Forgotten Coast K9, an organization helping get service dogs to first responders and veterans. Her inspiration in contributing is the freedom veterans sacrificed to give us.

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b4Nashville

March 22, 2022

b4Nashville with Chris O'Brian, Founder and CEO of Forgotten Coast K9

Yes, music can heal the soul and do great things for people.  Normally we are introducing you to a new artist in hopes you will become a fan.  But tonight is different.

Every day Veterans and First Responders are diagnosed with PTSD. Dealing with an ongoing battle at home doesn't have to happen alone. Service dogs help those that have served us in many ways.

Typically the process to obtain a service dog can take 2-5 years. However, with our revolutionary training, through Top Tier K9, the process in getting an essential service dog to a veteran, or first responder in need, is less than six months.

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Greene Publishing, Inc.

March 18, 2022

Forgotten Coast K9 graduates pups

Madison, Fla. — Lifelong Madison County resident, Chris O'Brian, has a great deal to be excited about in 2022. In 2021, O'Brian began Forgotten Coast K9, a non-profit organization which trains dogs for members of law enforcement and military affected by their service. The goal of Forgotten Coast K9 is to provide service dogs to first responders and military to help aid in their emotional and psychological well-being through private and corporate donations. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), anxiety and depression are often experienced by the individuals who have served and protected our country, at home and abroad...

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Service Dog

WCNC

December 19, 2021

Hundreds of volunteers place wreaths on the graves of fallen soldiers

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Hundreds of volunteers came out Saturday morning for Wreaths Across America ceremonies. There were several ceremonies in Charlotte and Matthews area. Our Larry sprinkle took part in the ceremony at Forest Lawn East Cemetery.

Volunteers spent the day at both locations placing wreaths on the graves of the country's fallen heroes and reading their names aloud.

"The purpose of this is to remember, honor and teach," Stacey Krespan, from Wreaths Across America, said. "Remember our fallen veterans and teach our children the value of freedom."

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Nashville Voyager
October 27, 2021

Hi Chris, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I was the K9 Unit supervisor for the Madison County (FL) Sheriff’s Office and became involved in training the dogs as well. Upon completion of Top Tier K9’s Foundation Dog® trainer program, I had the opportunity to give one of my best friends a service dog I trained to help him deal with his PTSD.

Immediately after that experience, I was contacted by a charity in Texas to provide a service dog to another deserving veteran whose service dog had recently passed. The feeling you get from truly helping others and seeing their lives change in front of you is amazing. It was at this point I decided to start our charity, Forgotten Coast K9, and help as many veterans and first responders as possible...

Service Dog

Serene Artist Images. Photo By Amanda Moody, Aug 15, 2021

The Vandalia Leader
October 23, 2021

According to Jeff Minder, currently it can take as long as 10 years for a veteran to get a service dog. Saturday, he brought a puppy to Valerie Hollingsworth four months after she enrolled in his dog training school.

Minder, a master dog trainer who built his own school from the ground up, said he came up with a better and faster way to provide service dogs to veterans who need them. He can also train dogs for other activities, as well. And noted, he was able to train the first dog to detect the COVID-19 virus. Valerie, who was a helicopter mechanic for the U.S. Marine Corps, and her husband, John, will be starting a dog training and breeding business early next year on their farm just north of Curryville...

Service Dogs

Monticello News & Jefferson County Journal
June 17, 2021

It's dark. You can barely make out the shape of the woman in front of you as she walks down the stairs into the basement. You can hear the wood creaking beneath every step. Your heart is racing. Every sensor in your body is telling you to run the other way, but you don't. You can't move. Suddenly, a dark shadow reaches out and pushes the woman down into the inky abyss. You let out a shriek, as do the rest of the people in the theater, before you have a good laugh at your own expense. Having a panic attack is, in many ways, like watching a horror movie, only often and without consent or warning. Our bodies are naturally built to alert us when danger is present...

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