Dogs have been helping military veterans in many different ways for many years. With the awareness of our veterans suffering from PTSD growing through news outlets and social media more veterans and dogs have been able to be helped.
To keep you up to date on the latest news related to dogs for veterans, we are highlighting some recent news stories.
Inmate-trained Dogs bring Comfort to Veterans
About three years ago, Prison Pups N Pals began a program with prisoners in the Tomoka Correctional Institution Work Camp in Volusia County, Florida. It all started with a partnership with the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The Halifax Humane Society and the West Volusia Kennel Club help pair dogs with prisoners. These dogs train and live with the prisoners for seven weeks. After the training around 20 percent of the dogs go to the VA’s Paws of Freedom where they get another seven weeks of training.
These dogs learn to do a variety of different services to help veterans. They are trained to turn off lights, open doors, bring a phone to its owner, and more helpful services depending on the specific needs of the veteran they will be placed with.
These well-trained dogs have been an amazing help to veterans suffering from PTSD. They have also given hope to prisoners.
For more information, read the article in The Gazette.
PetSmart and Canine Companions Partner to Place Dogs with Veterans
A national partnership between Canine Companions and PetSmart will help place more assistance dogs with veterans that have physical disabilities. Wounded veterans will be assisted by these trained dogs. The dogs will help them live fuller lives.
Stiggy’s Dogs Wins $100,000 Prize to Train Dogs for Veterans
An online voting contest voted Stiggy’s Dogs as the third place winner, garnering $100,000 for the organization that trains and rescues shelter dogs to go to veterans with PTSD and TBI.
The non-profit organization provides psychiatric service dogs to veterans at no cost. All the placed dogs must pass the Canine Good Citizen Certification test. Each dog is trained to meet the individual needs of the veteran they will be placed with.
Texas House of Representatives passed Bill to Provide Service Dogs to Veterans
Bill 489 passed by a resounding vote of 120 to 21 to have it sent to the Senate. The bill was written by State Representative, José Menéndez, a Democrat from San Antionio. It defines a service dog as a canine that helps the blind, deaf, physically disabled, mentally ill, people with seizure disorders and those with PTSD, including veterans.
Home for Disabled Vets and their Service Dogs planned in Elgin, Illinois
Save-A-Vet, a non-profit organization wants to open a home for disabled veterans and their service dogs in a former retirement center. The building is owned by Mutual of Omaha Bank. They are considering donating the property to the Save-A-Vet organization.
The home would provide housing for around 40 to 50 veterans and service dogs that were previously used by the military, police, border patrol, and Homeland Security. Rent would be free to the veterans and each would be assigned a job such as; answering telephones, helping care for the dogs, repairing vehicles, and more.
For more information, read the article in the Daily Herald.
If you have any other current news or information involving veterans and dogs please let us know or comment below.