Could Service Dogs be the Key to Battling PTSD?
The VA is currently conducting official research to scientifically determine the extent to which service dogs can help veterans with PTSD, but word-of-mouth from success stories is spreading the practice of using trained service dogs to assist veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder.
LINDON, Utah – July 28, 2015 – Low VA Rates, a company specializing in helping veterans utilize their VA loan benefits, has just donated several thousand dollars to a small non-profit specializing in training service dogs to assist veterans with disabilities and PTSD. This non-profit is called K9 Karma, and is still on a very small scale, but is making a world of difference in the lives of veterans they’ve been able to help so far. The “non-scientific” evidence of veterans with PTSD being helped by service dogs is overwhelming, and K9 Karma is working to help more veterans have access to one.
Daniel and Stacy, the two founders at K9 Karma, explain that it can cost upwards of $2,000 per dog to provide the training and supplies that the dog needs in order to fill the needs of a veteran with PTSD. This includes hiring a dog trainer, transportation and adoption fees, spaying or neutering, vaccinations, supplies for training, and everything else that might be necessary. Veterans are not charged for their service dog; the dog is given as a free gift.
Daniel is a veteran himself and still struggles with PTSD. When asked why he started K9 Karma, he said the following, “In the military, especially the Marine Corps, we have a saying: Leave No Man Behind. I feel that saying should also apply even when our military personnel return home. Although physically they are home, mentally they’re not. Everyone deserves to live the normal life that they had led prior to being placed into a combat zone.”
Stacy, though not a veteran herself, comes from a military family with almost every single branch represented. “I’ve seen both sides of war when it comes to my family and friends. I’ve seen some come home and live life as if nothing was different and I saw other members that came home and were “crazy” in the eyes of society. I watched while the doctors just kept feeding them pills to help cope with the anger, depression, and anxiety, and yet nothing was working.”
K9 Karma is hungering for the ability to help more veterans. While they are not in need of volunteers at this time, they are always looking for assistance in covering the costs of training and providing a service dog, since they are mostly paying out of their own pockets at this time.