Service dogs “lifesavers” for veterans

Posted By elaine on November 9, 2012

servicedog3Service Dogs can be life saving to our veterans,but shrinking federal budgets and the sheer number of injured service members are overwhelming government programs, so there just aren’t enough service dogs to go around.

Colorado organization, Freedom Service Dogs(FSD) continues to rescue shelter dogs, custom train them and then provide them to returning veterans at no cost.

servicedog2For a typical service dog, the journey from rescue to service costs approximately $25,000. Freedom Service Dogs takes on that expense solely through the support of charitable donations.

FSD Client, Joel, was deployment to Iraq several times and injured by a roadside blast that left him with both severe Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). By the time he found Freedom Service Dogs and Barrett, he says he was about to be “kicked to the curb and put in a nursing home.”

“I was angry. I wished I had died in Iraq rather than face the servicedogsfd.jphdifficulties in my life,” says Joel. “And one night, when I sat on the bed getting ready to end my life, it was Barrett that put his paw on my leg. He looked up, as if to say, ‘It’s ok, I’ve been there myself’ – that night, Barrett saved my life.”

In order to help the 42 service members currently on their wait list, they are reaching out to the Colorado Springs community and asking for help. The group is planning on taking part the Veteran’s Day Parade on Saturday, and will be on hand to talk to people about their program. You can also check out their website for more information on the program and how you can help.

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