Operation Orion – Rescue Dogs for Vets with PTSD
First Coast News, a local news station in Jacksonville FL, is launching Operation Orion and teaming up with K9s for Warriors and The Weaver Foundation. They’ve found that these “rescue dogs” are bringing a sense of restoration back to our veterans with PTSD.
K9s for Warriors started a home for veterans and dogs to pair them up. The facility only houses four vets at a time and the waiting list is over a year. First Coast News will be opening a new facility in June that will house 16 warriors at a time. They are looking for donations from the community and general public to help fund the continuation of the program.
The program goal is to train rescue dogs from shelters to serve veterans with PTSD or traumatic brain injury. Professional dog trainers work for months with dogs rescued from shelters. Upon arrival at the home, warrior veterans are paired up with their K9 and receive customized training with their dogs. The new facility will include a basketball court, a pool, and other comforts to help them. The vets will live at the facility, receive meals and training for free until they are ready to take home their dog.
The video below features Randy who is a veteran suffering with PTSD. He generously served 26 and a half years of active duty and guard duty. He recently graduated from the K9s for Warriors facility with his service dog, Louie. Louie can actually sense a panic attack before Randy even realizes it and has the ability to calm him.
The dogs bond with their warriors in such a special way that seems to address the needs of the veterans which helps to provide some healing, restoration and hope. The dogs, who have been carefully selected from shelters are serving a purpose far beyond pet. They are both companions and life savers to the veterans.
The question is who is being rescued? The dog or the vet? I think both. It’s definitely a win-win!
If you’d like to help this worthy project, please donate: Operation Orion – K9s For Warriors Donation