From detecting explosives to search and rescue, dogs have long been a part of military life. And now they are helping soldiers in another way.
Specially trained Certified Service Dogs are being used by soldiers who have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These service dogs help soldiers manage their symptoms and have become an invaluable, medically proven, recovery aid. In fact, according to K9s For Warriors, an organization that provides service dogs to military troops and veterans, “Service canines are considered medical equipment and are recognized by the U. S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, and the American disability act of 1990.”
The service dogs are trained to perform tasks that help alleviate the soldier’s symptoms and improve their quality of life. Dogs also give the soldiers a sense of security and comfort, while promoting independence, responsibility, outside exercise, and interaction with others.
While scientists are continuing to research the biological and psychological effects of the human-canine bond, soldiers who have participated in service dog programs report very positive outcomes. An article in The Atlantic stated that, “Patients often experience dramatic improvement, say service dog experts. They feel renewed confidence in social situations, decrease medication use, and are less likely to startle. Some veterans say it’s the only treatment that ever worked so well.”
Omni is proud to support America’s wounded warriors and the work of service dogs. On April 20, 2013, Andre Bohy, president of Omni Financial and a volunteer for the Veterans Airlift Command, flew former SGT John Davis and Chester, his new service dog donated by K9s For Warriors, free of charge, from the organization’s base in Florida to Davis’ home in South Carolina.
In addition to K9s For Warriors, there are other organizations throughout the United States that help connect service and therapy dogs with veterans, including Wounded Warriors, Warrior Canine Connection, Therapy Dogs International, Service Pets for Service Vets™, Soldier’s Best Friend, Operation Freedom Paws, Divine Canines, Pets for Vets, and Train A Dog – Save A Warrior. Contact a group in your area to learn more.
As it turns out, man’s best friend may also be one of man’s best healers.
Omni Financial® has been a trusted military lender for 63 years. For more information about our military loans for active duty Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard service members, contact us today.