PTSD SERVICE DOGS FOR VETERANS
There is a new program in the works that will provide dogsspecifically bred to be service dogs for Veterans with a multitude of ailments, most importantly PTSD. While the VA is supporting this program, private breeders are financing it in total. This program is being started by a young lady and her husband, both Veterans, both 100% disabled, who are doing some of the breeding and helping with training and securing breeding commitments from breeders around the country. The dogs are trained for “emotional support” and as Psychiatric (PTSD) Service dogs.
The animals used in this program are the Borzoi (aka Russian Wolf Hound) and the Belgian Sheep Dog. Both breeds are known for their ability to operate independently. The breeders are only using specific “bloodlines” of animals to insure that they are as problem free as possible. The animal donations come from ethical breeders and are carefully screened for health, trainability & temperament (the parents, grandparents and so forth free of genetic disease or problems). This is to insure that the dog’s bloodlines do not have a history of cancer, hip dysplasia and the myriad of other problems that are common with larger dogs.
The breeds selected have been proven to be great psychiatric Service Dog's. They are large, quiet, long-lived (11-17 years), extremely healthy, and most importantly they are not blindly obedient or human reliant...they think for themselves.
As an example one of the first Borzoi service dogs placed went to a civilian who had severe PTSD, involuntary hospitalizations and the works. She had been trying to obtain a service dog for nearly a year, but had gone with the traditional service breeds (German Shepherd, golden...) and basically it was a problem. She would start having panic attacks, the dogs would too and become very aggressive to boot as they frantically searched over and over for a threat. On the other hand, the Borzoi placed with her would check the house on command but then come back to her and start soothing her on his own (nudges, hugs, licks, play). She no longer gets hospitalized, she has resumed college and the dog is up for an AKC A.C.E. award for service dogs.
And now, the part you have been waiting for. The dogs are free to any qualified Veteran. A Veteran is considered qualified as long as his VA or VET Center PTSD counselor thinks it would benefit him/her and they are capable of the dog’s care or have help caring for the animal. The donations of these dogs goes through the DAV (Tucson, Chapter 4), through the Bandido Charlie Association or any recognized Veteran’s Organization that is a 501 (c) corporation, so that the breeder at least gets a receipt for their dog - and the Veteran is getting the dog from a source they know is not going to ask anything of him. The breeders do welcome contact from the vets if they would like to talk - especially about their dogs. The dogs are transported, in many cases, by Operation Roger or Pilots N Paws without cost to the Veteran. In many instances, arrangements have been made with selected veterinarians through the SPCA who offer discounted (30%) health care services if needed
One of the best benefits is that as Certified Service dogs, the animal can remain with you at all times the same as a “Seeing Eye” dog can remain with its master. That way, the dog is with you at all times, especially when you may need him most. As a matter of fact, it is critically important that the dog be with his master as much as humanly possible so that the Veteran and the dog become co-dependent in each other’s comfort and welfare. I have seen the Borzoi in action and it is an amazing animal. The Vets I have spoken with say their Service Dog is better than any med they have ever taken!
To be transported you MUST have a reservation.
Call the DAV transportation representative to reserve a seat.
Service connected disabled veterans have priority on the vans
and may bump a non service connected veteran.
You must be able to get on and off the van without assistance.
If you need assistance or the van is not wheel chair equipped, call the VA hospital travel office,
NOT the DAV transportation office, and request transportation.
IMPORTANT PHONE NUMBERS For DAV transportation
*Dallas/Hood River is stopping some service due to a lack of drivers
For wheel chair patients and those needing assistance for transportation to Portland VA
Call travel 1-888 949-1004 ext 55775 or 55020
National Stats: 9,060 Drivers, 29,300,000 miles driven annually,
and 756,433 Veterans transported in 2005
Oregon Stats: 22 Vans, 160 Drivers, 31,000 Veterans transported in 2005
To volunteer to be a driver, contact the DAV reps at Portland VAMC
or if closer, the Roseburg and White City VA Facilities.
Donations for the Van Club should be given to a local DAV Chapter
or sent to Chapter 6, PO Box 4280, Salem OR 97302
Make checks payable to the DAV Chapter of your choice and in the memo section write “For the Van Club”.
IN THE PORTLAND AREA -FOR SALEM VETERANS
Save on travel expenses. Before going to your appointment in Portland, note appointments others have scheduled in this calendar.
If you have an appointment coinciding with one already scheduled on this calendar, E-mail Webmaster Ron Morgan <firstname.lastname@example.org> for contact information for the posted appointment will be sent to you. You can then arrange to carpool with the other veteran to your appointment.
Then, if you need to schedule another appointment, try to get one at the same time as one of these already scheduled.
If it is not possible to schedule your appointment time in the same time frame as one of the appointment listed here, when you return home you can E-mail Webmaster Ron Morgan <email@example.com > the time and date for each of your new appointments. Your new appointments will be entered into this calendar. Someone else may get an appointment scheduled in your time frame, allowing the two of you to carpool it to Portland.
Webmaster Ron Morgan firstname.lastname@example.org
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