This Amazing Program Trains Service Dogs for Veterans Using An Unlikely Group Of Trainers
The Veterans Site, along with the GreaterGood network of sites, has contributed more than $50 million to charities around the world through our non-profit partner, GreaterGood.org. United by the common cause of improving the health and well-being of people, pets and the planet, GreaterGood fans are changing the world every day. This is just one of those stories.
Patriot PAWS recently struck up an innovative partnership with service dog training program inside a number of Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) facilities.
The two organizations work together well. Patriot PAWS is able to train more service dogs for disabled veterans, simultaneously creating career opportunities for inmates after their release, as well as a way for them to give back to the community during their incarceration.
The results of this partnership have been positive to say the least. The work Patriot PAWS is doing inside these three TDJC facilities is one of the most successful programs of its type in the country.
Inmates are finding new hope through this program, and building skills they will be able to rely on when they return to their communities. And the benefits are two-fold. Many of the dogs the inmates are working with are shelter rescues, As the veterans they are placed with gain confidence and dignity, the dogs find loving homes and a friend for life.
Vietnam veteran W.A. served in the Army long before he met Butterfly. He is not able to drive due to failing vision, and cannot always balance well. A victim of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) W.A. lives on a ranch and enjoys the simple life.
W.A.’s family contacted Patriot PAWS after W.A. realize his driving days were through. His anxiety was grew, knowing he was losing freedom. He needed help around the house, which wasn’t always available, and began experiencing PTSD episodes in greater frequency.
As soon as W.A. met Butterfly, the anxiety was replaced with joy! Now they are both enjoying life on the ranch, and W.A. credits Butterfly for making all the difference.
“Butterfly has become my best buddy,” W.A. said. “I knew from the moment I saw her eyes that we’d be a good team!”
W.A.’s vision prescription calls for dark glasses, even indoors, to protect his eyes. Butterfly certainly doesn’t mind. She’s got a beautiful pair of dark brown eyes herself!
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