Veterans Initiative

Service dog in black and white, text reads

Canine Companions Launches PTSD Pilot Program

With the increase in military veterans returning with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Canine Companions is launching a pilot program to directly place service dogs with veterans with PTSD. The pilot program will take place at our Northwest Training Center in Santa Rosa, CA. For the purposes of this initial pilot program, local participants will be selected. Dogs will be trained in tasks including nightmare interruption, turning on lights, retrieving items, and supporting their handler in crowded public situations that might provoke anxiety for individuals with PTSD. In the future, we hope to expand this new placement type to include first responders with PTSD.

The criteria for participation in this small pilot program include living within 200-miles of Santa Rosa and veteran status. At this time, Canine Companions does not train dogs to work with individuals who desire support for PTSD outside of the context of the pilot program.

Canine Companions for Independence has provided many assistance dogs to US war veterans across the country.

With the increase in wounded veterans who could benefit from an assistance dog, we want to do more. For a veteran making a new start putting their life back together from an injury, an assistance dog can provide the help they need to regain independence.

Canine Companions recognizes the urgent and growing need for programs that provide support to veterans with disabilities. Many of the brave men and women returning home from combat with disabling injuries experience a litany of new challenges.

Often, they face difficult transitions back to civilian life as well as uncertain futures with new disabilities. Canine Companions assistance dogs can help veterans regain independence, pride and hope. Beyond much-needed physical assistance, the love, loyalty and positivity of a canine partner can make a profound, lasting impact on someone dealing with difficult emotions that are hard to communicate.

"Just having someone with me to help do things that are difficult for me really affects my life positively.” - Charlie with his service dog Devon

Canine Companions was the first assistance dog organization to be accredited by Assistance Dogs International, and has provided assistance dogs to over 6,000 people with disabilities.

Veterans Initiative - Gabe and Wonka

Watch Veterans Stories >>

Learn more about the types of assistance dogs Canine Companions places >>

Read our Assistance Dog FAQs >>

Questions? Please contact us at 1-800-572-BARK (2275) or via email.

The process to receive a Canine Companions assistance dog includes multiple steps. Click the button below to find out if an assistance dogs is right for you and start the process to receive more information.

Get Started >>