Canines 4 Hope - PTSD Service Dogs

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PTSD Service Dogs - Raising Awareness
Raising Awareness through Educational Events and
Providing Guidance and Support for those in need of a Service Dog
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PTSD Service Dogs, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Service Dogs

ptsd service dogsWhat is PTSD?
Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that can occur after you have been through a traumatic event. During this type of event, you think that your life or other's lives are in danger. You may feel afraid or feel that you have no control over what is happening.

Anyone who has gone though a life-threatening event can develop PTSD. These events can include:

  • Combat or Military Exposure
  • Child sexual or physical abuse
  • Terrorist attacks
  • Sexual or physical assault
  • Serious accidents, such as a car wreck
  • Natural disasters, such as a fire, tornado hurricane, flood, or earthquake

After the event, you may feel scared, confused, or angry. If these feelings don't go away or they get worse, you may have PTSD. These symptoms may disrupt your life, making it hard to continue with your daily activities.

PTSD Service Dogs
Canines 4 Hope can create customized training programs for PTSD Service Dogs to help those who are suffering and living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.PTSD Service Dog

PTSD Dogs are trained to:

  • Assistance in a medical crisis
  • Provide treatment related assistance
  • Assistance in coping with emotional overload
  • Perform security enhancement tasks

A Specially Trained PTSD Dog can provide a sense of security, calming effects, and physical exercise that can make a positive difference in the life of those that suffer with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Like all assistance dogs, a psychiatric service dog is individually trained to do work or perform tasks that mitigate their handler's disability. Training may include providing environmental assessment (in such cases as paranoia or hallucinations), signaling behaviors (such as interrupting repetitive or injurious behavior reminding the handler to take medication, retrieving objects and guiding the handler from stressful situations. PTSD Service Dogs can literally change the life of a Veteran or other persons with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. PTSD Service dogs can help a Veteran remain calm by preventing people from crowding around or rushing up behind in public places which will provide a comfortable space for the Veteran or PTSD sufferer.ptsd service dogs for veterans

PTSD Service Dogs can:

  • help adjust serotonin levels
  • help lower blood pressure
  • help with episodes of depression
  • provide companionship
  • calm their handler
  • preventing people from crowding around or rushing up on their handler

PTSD Service Dog, Andrew's Story

PALM CITY, Fla. - Around a home in Palm City, there is much more than a game of catch on the line. For Andrew Snow peace of mind has been hard to find. Two tours in Iraq left their mark. Over the past seven years Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder took over until something happened last December.

"He's my best buddy, we play together, sit and watch TV together," says Snow.

'He' is Humphrey who came running into his life. The service dog, complete with a vest and credentials, offers more than companionship. "Haven't been as depressed, more likely to go out," Snow adds.

That's precisely the reason Canines 4 Hope has made its way into the lives of people across America. It all began in the backyard of a Palm City home.

"We're very much a mom and pop operation," Jason DeVito said.

DeVito and his family never miss a step. Nor do his students. The certified dog trainer has about 12 K9s at a time training every day for five months to get them ready for work. "The benefit for us is that we're able to train for a number of different disabilities ranging from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder to children with special needs," says DeVito.

In fact, each one of the dogs has a mission. Anna the German Shepherd is headed for Michigan to help tackle another case of PTSD. Charlie the golden retriever will help a child live with autism. Sugar will alert its future owner when their blood sugar gets low. However, the biggest treat of all isn't training them but rather watching what happens after they go to a new home.

"It's joyful for me. I look at Andrew and Humphrey together and it just brings a smile to my face. It makes our efforts as a family here all worth it," says DeVito.

Nothing can take away the bond that's created when the training time of the dogs is up and they go to work.

"I have responsibility to take care of him which in turn helps me take care of myself better," says Snow.

DeVito says a majority of the service dogs he trains are for those on the autism spectrum.

For video and transcript visit: 

PTSD Service Dog, Jenny's Story

PTSD Service Dog, Post Traumatci Stress Disorder Service DogHello, my name is Jenny.

I suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I have been confined to my home for the past 18 months. I take several medications for my disability but none of them help me overcome the fear of being alone in a public place. The simple task of going to the supermarket for some milk would send me into a full blown panic attack. I needed to be accompanied by a friend anywhere I went. My life as I knew it made me very depressed. I found myself in a rut, I just didn't know how to get out of until I met Jason the owner of Canines4hope. I was aware of service dogs helping the blind and hearing impaired but I never knew a service dog could help me with my situation. Jason explained to me that if I was matched with the right dog it could give me the confidence to try and overcome my disability.

Fortunately for me we found Kiera, a two year female German Shepherd rescue. Jason trained Kierra for PTSD and to alert me to my panic attacks.

Kierra has changed my life. There was an instant bond the first time we met. She has given me a new found confidence. Kierra makes me feel safe. She picks me up when I am feeling down, and motivates me to do things with her. She has helped me overcome my fear of being alone in public.
Since Kierra has come into my life everything has changed. I feel so much better about myself. My depression is much more manageable and guess what, I can go to the supermarket or anywhere else I would like to go by myself, and of course with Kierra.

It has been six months now since Kiera and I have partnered, and I am proud to say that I have re enrolled in school. The University has given me permission to bring Kierra to class with me.
Kierra and I go to school four days a week, and we take mass transit to get there.

I could not be happier with my decision to get a service dog. Thank you Jason Devito and Canines4hope. Your organization has given me a new lease on life and the courage to conquer and achieve new milestones.
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