JoAnna Lou
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Government Funds PTSD Service Dog Study
Department of Defense begins research on the canine potential for helping veterans.
New research may help to pair more veterans up with PTSD service dogs.

Back in July I wrote about the Puppies Behind Bars' Dog Tags program that provides service dogs to veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Now research is underway to demonstrate the impact of pairing up returning soldiers with trained canines.

The U.S. Department of Defense is financing a $300,000, 12-month study that will look at the effects of service dogs on changes in PTSD symptoms and medication use. Researchers at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington D.C. will compare soldiers with PTSD who have a service dog with a control group of dog-less soldiers. Some of the dogs being trained for the study will be rescues, making this program even more compelling.

Last week, research psychologist, Craig Love, and Psychiatric Service Dog Society founder, Joan Esnayra, presented a preliminary survey of veterans with PTSD. Since receiving a service dog, 82 percent of respondents reported fewer symptoms and 40 percent reported using fewer medications. Furthermore, the length of time the team had been together correlated with the reduction in symptoms and medication use.

Pet lovers already know about the healing power of dogs, but scientific research will increase the potential for initiatives like Sen. Al Franken’s legislation to provide funding for the training of service dogs for veterans. I look forward to the impact this study is bound to have on future research on the power of the human-canine relationship.

JoAnna Lou is a New York City-based researcher, writer and agility enthusiast.
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Submitted by Anonymous | June 10 2011 |

im a ptsd person i have three doctors from the va hopital in ftwayne indiana.saying i need this dog too help me greatley, they have a vendor in town handles these dogs but thet say only way i can get adog if i was bind then they will buy me adog isnt that sad the va telling aveteran that ,government hasnt helped us at all.let me down

Submitted by Anonymous | September 26 2011 |

I am not sure what Indiana has to offer anymore. I am in the military right now, currently suffering from PTSD and pending TBI diagnosis. So far I have not seen any programs for military personnell in our home state that offers Service Dogs, but I have not found the right site yet. Do not give up, there are programs out there just like this one that are more than willing to help and you don't have to pay for the dog at all. The training that the dog can receive adds up, but is worth having. I have seen it with my own eyes. I am trying to find an organization that will take me on. Wish you the best. Take care and have a good one.

Submitted by Anonymous | May 4 2012 |

Good Morning,
I am in the service myself and like most of you on this post I have been diagnosed with PTSD. I live in Indiana myself and stationed at Cherry Point, NC. However, I found a site called "Stiggy's Dogs" and instantly felt a connection with this organization after searching and searching. Those organizations who say "you have to have...." are wrong first off. If you have PTSD and have served no matter what time frame you qualify for a service dog.
Trust me if you are a person who hates crowds, sits near the exit knows where other multiple exits are in restaurants or other establishments, play multiple scenarios just to be safe, carry a knife just in case, fine tne next minute and enraged the next, etc...YOU DESERVE TO GET A SERVICE COMPANION!!!
Service animals,dogs in general, are there to help you cope or get through your everyday struggles that are normal to others. I say this; make sure you take the steps to help better yourself in order to function by making sure you seek more guidance and more information about our condition. I am calm at the time as I write this, but I bet myself I will be set off very soon and I have to try and resist the urge to act out. Stay in a calming place that is your sanctuary is always good on your end.
For all my "Brother's and Sister's at Arms" if you go through the everyday struggles as I do, I HIGHLY RECOMMNED getting a Service Dog and take that first step to working with your condition and not letting it consume you. Take care and have a good one.

-Sergeant of Marines

Submitted by Len | March 3 2012 |

PPBB will not provide dogs for VN Vets. This is not fair. I understand the overwelling need for todays vets but VN vets need help to. I live in Hawaii and it is hard to get a trained PTSD dog. I just feel bad for the forgotten vet of the VN conflict like myself. I am a 100% disabled service connected with PTSD.

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