Veterans Initiative

Service dog in black and white, text reads

Service Dogs for Veterans with PTSD

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. Currently, eligible participants must live within a 200-mile radius of our regional training centers in Santa Rosa, California, Medford, New York, and Irving, Texas.

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. In the future, we hope to expand this new placement type to include first responders with PTSD.

Applicants for the PTSD program must be United States Armed Forces veterans and live within 200 miles of the regional training centers in either Santa Rosa, California or Medford, New York, or anywhere within the state of Texas.

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

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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.

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