Veterans Needing PTSD Dogs

Tim Tebow's Shelter Photo

Tim Tebow’s Shelter Photo

Yesterday, we were asked to rescue a trained service dog. While the owner has not yet decided whether or not she will surrender him to our rescue, just the fact that he exists created quite an impact on us.

After interviewing several people, we learned that Veterans who suffer from PTSD are on waiting lists for up to 2 years. Training a dog to be a PTSD dog takes about seven weeks. Yet, there is a huge shortage of trainers.

The real shocker was learning that although there are many non-profit companies providing the training service, the trained dog itself can cost the veteran about $12,000.  Can Veterans afford this?

Because we sit at the rescue chair, behind the rescue desk, and our job is to save highly adoptable dogs from being euthanized, it irritates us to learn about these waiting lists knowing literally millions of dogs who are sitting in shelters today could easily perform the job.

Tim Tebow, Canine Good Citizen

Tim Tebow, Canine Good Citizen

To date, we have rescued and re-homed over 900 dogs. I can honestly say that more than 30% of our rescued dogs could easily become PTSD dogs. Without any training whatsoever, our dogs have been adopted by and are working children with Autism and depression. Many of them are Canine Good Citizen dogs and are visiting nursing homes and hospitals on a regular basis. One dog was adopted by a paraplegic, one was trained to be a diabetic detection dog, a search and rescue dog, and let’s not forget, three of our dogs are professional bug dogs!

If there is a veteran who needs a low-energy, calm and loyal dog, does the dog really need to be evaluated and trained, thus creating ginormous waiting lists, or does the dog just need to be a good dog?

What we have here is a serious problem with regard to supply and demand. But if the dog is not certified, the veteran will not have the freedom to travel with the dog, you ask? NOT TRUE!  When I asked Susan Berry, President of Disabilities Smart Solutions that question, she laughed!

The laws have changed, take a look for yourself by clicking on this link.  http://www.ada.gov/service_animals_2010.htm

Lady Truelove's shelter photo

Lady Truelove’s shelter photo

When I pondered this issue for a while last night, I realized that all four of my dogs could easily become PTSD dogs. Can they open door knobs or push a wheelchair? No. Can they provide a calm and nurturing environment, be the ideal companion, be loyal and noble for someone who suffers for PTSD? Absolutely.

When I interviewed a gentleman last night, he explained that the shelters and pounds in his area just don’t have the right dogs. He also commented that most pounds don’t see the value in the very large breed dogs, and they are put down. Saving the small breeds might be a major mistake made by shelters and pounds throughout the United States. Most service dogs for Veterans are large breed dogs.

Lady Truelove and Tim Tebow, Canine Good Citizen Dogs

Lady Truelove and Tim Tebow, Canine Good Citizen Dogs

In the coming weeks, we will be updating some of our special adoption stories to include the dogs that are currently providing a much needed service to prove that if you rescue the right dog, with very little training, they can easily become a companion dog. We believe that once that bond is made, and the dog has a deep connection with its human, magic happens.

Saluting our Veterans on Veterans Day. ~ The Dog Liberator

Email us for more information: TheDogLiberator@gmail.com







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