Charity Helps PTSD Veterans Using Dogs' Assistance

BarcroftAnimalsPublished: April 11, 2018169 views
Published: April 11, 2018

A charity is giving Post Traumatic Stress Disorder sufferers a new lease of life by pairing them up with service dogs. 1Pet1Vet, based in Kankakee, Illinois is a non-profit organization that specialises in pairing and training companion and emotional support service dogs with military veterans, to cope with the effects of PTSD.

The charity was started in 2013 by Afghanistan veteran Joe Trainer Jr. Joe had this idea of helping veterans that were dealing with different issues whether they were physical or mental through the aid of a dog and that’s how it got started. In order to make an impact on the veteran suicide rate, he decided to focus on veterans that were diagnosed with PTSD.

The focus is on three symptoms the veterans contend with: flashbacks and night terrors or nightmares, social avoidance and social numbing, and being socially avoidant. The scheme also enables the veterans to take part in the training process, to obtain a close connection with their animal. The scheme has seen a remarkable change in the mentality of some veterans, including those who had lost all hope.

The main goal of pairing veterans with service dogs is to reduce suicidal ideas, however they also help the vets reintegrate into society and help with symptoms such as anxiety and anger - and even physical symptoms such as headaches. Most often, people have a mental picture of post traumatic stress that looks like someone who is anxiously biting his nails and looking left and right. While they might occur, most often the post-traumatic symptoms are masked and the individuals are very guarded and one of the things that they struggle with is social connection.

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