Wounded Warriors Canada Donates $175K to PTSD Service Dog Program
Though no one should have to suffer after dedicating their lives to bravely serving their country and experiencing the hard realities of war first hand, many veterans return to civilian life with a psychiatric condition known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The difficult situations soldiers and first responders are put under may create lasting mental scars as they witness and undergo traumatic events that no one should have to go through.
Watch The Wounded Warriors Video on experiencing PTSD:
PTSD is an invisible illness that causes a variety of symptoms that may heavily affect a veteran’s day to day life including flashbacks, panic attacks, depression, and social withdrawal. Though the illness itself may be debilitating, it can be managed through a variety of therapies including the use of a service animal. There’s nothing easy about experiencing mental illness, or watching a loved one deal with its consequences, but with a service dog, they will not have to go through it alone.
Inspired by the difference a trained service dog can make in a veteran’s life, Wounded Warriors Canada has announced a huge partnership with the Paws Fur Thought service dog initiative. This veteran aid group will receive an astoundingly generous $175,000 to change the lives of our country’s service people over the course of 3 years. The organisation pairs professionally trained animals with veterans and first responders in need, using strict selection criteria to make sure each dog is a valuable and personalised asset to their new owner.
A service dog may provide comfort and perform various tasks in order to help their owner with the daily battles that come with trauma-related mental illnesses. Dogs are very intuitive creatures that can be trained to sense changes in their owner’s emotions and behavior. Once the dog has sensed the owner’s panic, it may respond by leading them out of a stressful area or bringing them medication. Dogs have even been trained to know when their owner is having a flashback nightmare and to wake them up from it. These actions may drastically change a veteran’s quality of life after returning from duty as they now have a support aid by their side.
Thanks to this new funding, the dogs paired through Paws Fur Thought will be provided to veterans at no cost, making this specialized aid more accessible to those who require it most. Wounded Warriors Canada remains one of the largest funders of PTSD service dogs nationally and they continue to diligently advocate for the health and mental well-being of our veterans. Other initiatives by Wounded Warriors include helping vets learn new skills to enter the workforce and providing scholarships to the children of veterans.
It’s not always easy to know when a loved one is experiencing PTSD, as many choose to suffer in silence. Opening up the dialogue on mental illness and showing your support by supporting charities like Wounded Warriors is a great start to helping people ask and receive the care they need. Find out more about the amazing work the organization performs on the Wounded Warriors website. More information about PTSD service animals can be found on the Paws Fur Thought website.
More by Morgan Sterling