VETERANS WITH DOGS was founded with the specific intention of training fully accredited assistance dogs to help mitigate the symptoms of mental health difficulties for our veterans and active-duty service members.
We saw the real need to establish a programme of training as there were no other organisations in the UK providing dogs specifically for mental health disabilities. The task was a huge undertaking, but seeing how veterans and their families suffer is a heart-breaking experience and only strengthened our resolve to do 'something' to help.
More veterans are dying from suicides as a result of the impact of the psychological and emotional trauma than have been killed in conflict. The divorce rate, number who are now in prison or homeless, and the impact these issues are having on their children of our veterans are shocking. Many have severed relationships, are afraid to leave their homes, get little sleep due to recurring nightmares, and are emotionally numb.
The PALS (Partner Animal Life Skills) Programme to train and provide assistance dogs for mental health is just one adjunct to treatment that is having a profound effect on helping Veterans to increase their quality of life and regain independence.
The dogs on our programme are not for convenience purposes, they are trained specifically for the needs of an individual with a mental health disability.
We never endorse a dog as a solution to mental health difficulties, but ONLY as a valid aid to recovery - in conjunction with a relevant treatment or care plan.
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