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.
An assistance dog for mental health enables a Veteran to lead a more independent life, and is allowed by law to accompany their partner into public places such as shops, restaurants and also to travel on public transport, as defined by the DDA.
We understand every mental health disability is different and unique to each individual, which is why our dogs are matched and then custom-trained for a Veteran's specific needs.
Once a dog has reached an appropriate standard, VWD brings the Veteran and dog together in a residential setting to begin the matching and transfer. This allows the Veteran to train under supervision with our team and learn how to work and train with their dog .
Further training then continues at home with one of our trainers, building on more advanced work and tasks until certified as an Assistance Dog Partnership.
VWD then provides continuing aftercare and support for the lifetime of the partnership.