Shelter Dogs and PTSD: A Rescue Mission

October 4, 2018

When a soldier goes to war, the mental torment endured can be debilitating. They often return to foreign surroundings, where everything once familiar is now unrecognizable. When a dog enters a shelter, it may have suffered emotional trauma that can never be expressed, and adapting to shelter life can be lonely and full of dejection.


Animals are being euthanized daily in America, and soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are taking their lives at horrific rates. With this in mind, organizations have started matching shelter dogs with veterans, saving two lives in the process.


Pets for Vets employs a matchmaking process to pair pets with their new owners. The process includes interviews, evaluating which animal would be the best fit based on personality and lifestyle. Once matched, the dog is specifically trained to help with the veteran's conditions. If the selection proves successful, the dog spends time in the home of a professional trainer who uses positive reinforcement methods to teach good manners, basic obedience and other valuable skills. Training can also include becoming comfortable with wheelchairs or crutches, and recognizing panic or anxiety disorders.



K9 Partners for Patriots has a mission of bringin