The specialized training session consists of a support group where the veterans have the opportunity to share in a group setting with a social worker and then they train their dog to become their own service dog.
To train, assist, guide and serve veterans who have been diagnosed by a licensed mental healthcare provider with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and/or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) through the operation of a Service Dog Program. In support of this mission, to search out and qualify veterans in need of psychological healing through a service dog program; to evaluate the dog that the veteran brings to the program for suitability to be a service dog; to provide qualified volunteer trainers and a training regimen in obedience, public access and tasks/work that the dog will perform in order to meet the individual needs of the veteran; to provide a facility suitable for this training; and to have available on staff volunteer professional social workers to help the veteran deal with psychological issues which may arise as they work through the program.
To become a model Service Dog Program which exclusively meets the psychological needs of veterans; to be identified for replication nationwide in meeting the overwhelming psychological needs of veterans currently returning from military conflict; to document and showcase the efficacy of such a Service Dog Program in healing these psychological wounds; and to serve as a convincing force to persuade Agencies such as the Branches of Military Service, the Veterans Administration and the professional psychiatric/psychological communities that such a Service Dog Program can be effective in healing the invisible wounds of military conflict.
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