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
With the increase in military veterans returning with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), in 2018 Canine Companions launched a pilot program to directly place service dogs with veterans with PTSD.
Dogs are trained in tasks including anxiety and nightmare interruption, turning on lights, retrieving items, and supporting their handler in crowded public situations that might provoke anxiety for individuals with PTSD.
Applicants for the PTSD program must be United States Armed Forces veterans. Currently, this program is only offered in our Northwest and South Central regions, and for any applicants living within 200 miles of our training center in Medford, New York.