A Florida animal shelter is working hand-in-paw with a Brooksville non-profit organization to provide veterans, suffering with PTSD, depression, and anxiety, with service dogs. Homeless dogs with the “right stuff” are being selected from Pasco County Animal Services for a 19-week training program through K9 Partners for Patriots.
According to the animal shelter, qualifying dogs must be able to pick up on the scent of adrenaline. Shelter staff then chooses from the qualifying dogs based on shelter assessments. So far, the animal services agency has placed more than 15 dogs with K9 Partners for Patriots. In a Facebook post, the animal shelter expressed gratitude for the partnership:
“Pasco County Animal Services is very proud and honored to be able to work with K9 Partners for Patriots, Inc. This is an amazing group and we are able to help them find dogs that are able to provide service to our veterans. Pasco County Animal Services looks forward to more placements and we hope to continue helping our veterans.”
According to ABC Action News, the organization’s founder, Mary Peter, decided to shut down her professional dog training business in order to provide veterans somewhere that they could have “a purpose and a responsibility.”
The weeks long training program allows for bonding between the veteran and the dog – according to the non-profit agency, classes are small (no more than 10 teams per session), and everything involved is provided at no cost to the participants (training, dog, and all equipment).
Army Veteran Bobby White told ABC Action News how his service dog, Bo, has helped him with his ongoing PTSD problems,
“When you are feeling uptight or nervous, he’ll wake you up from a nightmare. The comfort that he gives you, you feel like you can do anything.”
Learn more about the service dog program here.
Find Pasco County Animal Services on Facebook here.
K9 Partners for Patriots on Facebook here.
Trained service dogs can sometimes mean the difference between life and death to a veteran suffering with PTSD. The life-changing impact of these specially trained dogs can be seen in the Shelter Me: Hope & Redemption episode. Veterans talk candidly about their struggles with depression and anxiety – and comment about the positive impact that their service dogs have had on their life.
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