Dogs Trained To Help Military Men, Women Cope With PTSD

6:42 PM, Jul 19, 2011   |    comments
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A former serviceman is helping veterans by training service dogs to ease them back into society.

High Point --  Many of us will never know what it's like to be on the front lines of war.  Unfortunately, many of our troops know all too well. 

More soldiers are coming back from overseas and struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  The good news is that help is being found in unlikely places... dogs. 

David Cantara, a veteran himself, began training dogs years ago.  Little did he know his love for dogs would turn out to be so helpful to so many of our soldiers coming back from war.   

Cantara takes lab puppies, most of them rescues, and trains them to to be service dogs.  They're called the Patriot Rovers.  The dogs can go everywhere with the soldier and maintain a comfortable distance between them and other people.  An added bonus is that it's hard not to be tempted to pet labs.  It gives the men a conversation piece they are comfortable with. 

David and his trainers spend countless hours training the dogs, taking them out to local businesses, matching them with soldiers and working with the pair after they get together.

His goal is to give hope and healing to everyone involved.  The soldiers are able to ease back into society.  The dogs get new homes.  Then there's one more link.  Cantara names each dog after a fallen soldier.  His family gets to pick the name and meet the dog.  Their family member's name and story can live on.  They won't be forgotten.

One class of Patriot Rovers is about to graduate and  meet their new families.  There are new puppies already waiting for training.  Keeping the program running is necessary... but not cheap.  If you would like to help Cantara and his group, here's their website.  You could help one of our soldiers get back on his feet.

WFMY News 2

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