Just weeks after bringing home his dog, Brandon Allen, an Iraq war veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), was able to cut in half his dose of anxiety and sleep medications. The terrible dreams at night and suicidal thoughts that filled his brain ended, he finally felt safe and at peace with himself.
This is a story we often hear, vets who can finally go back into a grocery store for the first time in years, ride the bus and start working on a new life. The dogs that give them this gift are not just pets; they are lifesaving emotional support animals trained to help their people leave the battlefield behind.
Up to 31% of soldiers returning from combat in Iraq and Afghanistan experience depression or PTSD that can affect their jobs, relationships and daily lives according to a new study by Army researchers. For as many as 14% of these veterans, the depression or PTSD causes major problems in their daily lives including alcohol abuse and aggressive behavior.
Canines With a Cause will continue to expand our programs for veterans and their families, we will continue to rescue healthy, adoptable dogs from death row in shelters and train them for their new homes, we will also continue to be grateful for your ongoing financial support to continue our important work.
We ask that you take the time on Veterans Day to thank any veterans you know and maybe even some you don't. Make a phone call, send an email, stop someone in uniform on the street and let them know how much you appreciate the sacrifice they have made for our country.
As I walked the shelter looking at dogs for the "Canines With a Cause" program, I noticed a medium sized white dog who did not take his eyes off of me. He was smiling and wagging his tail, asking me to come over and say "hello".
Knowing this shelter kills over 18,000 companion animals per year, this is a very difficult task, making a choice on who will live or die is not an easy one. I knew this guy had to come with me. We had very little room left at the facility for big dogs, we just had to make this work somehow. He went into boarding for a few weeks, was neutered and vaccinated. He arrived at the facility dirty, stinky and happy as ever.
We had a veteran looking for a new service dog, his dog had recently passed away and he was ready for a new companion. Dennis had lost a leg from the knee down in Vietnam, he was a dog trainer in the army and had quite a bit of experience training dogs, a star student! Dennis asked to see the new dog I had spoke to him about, the young one with the big smile. We knew little about him with the exception of his amazing temperament.
The dog showed no fear of the wheelchair or Dennis, he kissed and leaned up against him. He was very attentive in class and did well for his first day. We knew it was a match! Ranger is now living with Dennis who welcomed him home with the much needed bath. They will begin formal training this Thursday and we're sure they will achieve service dog status in no time.
This is just one of many stories made possible by your contributions. The medical expenses to get these dogs ready their new homes is high, as are the ongoing issues we assist the veterans with for their important companions. On October 19, GlobalGiving.org is matching at 30% all online donations up to $1,000 per donor per project! There is $100,000 available in matching funds starting at 12:01 am EDT. They will match until 11:59pm EDT or until matching funds run out. This is a great way for you to help us continue our "Happy Tails" and grow your generous donations.
Thank you for your ongoing support, from Dennis, Ranger and all of those who have a better quality of life (two and four legged) because of you.
When most people think of veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), especially dating back to the Vietnam War, they think of men. Men on the front line watching their comrades suffer and die for their country. The voices of the women whose lives have been changed forever due to traumatic experience in the military are not always heard.
Over 61% of women in the military report being sexually harassed by their own troops, this includes everything from verbal harassment to rape. The scars from this abuse last a lifetime, some of the women develop serious disorders which include PTSD, agoraphobia and depression.
Over half of the veterans currently training shelter dogs in the Canines With a Cause (CWAC) program are women, two of the participants date back to the Vietnam War. These women are finding freedom and comfort from their four legged companions. They feel safe leaving their homes and can actually stand in line in a grocery store without being paranoid, small things we all take for granted.
Thanks to the support of donors like you, CWAC is able to pay for the training of these special dogs as well as making sure the dogs are healthy, have been altered and are current on vaccinations.
CWAC is also currently working on a program with the local VA Hospital in Salt Lake City, UT, whereas we will train dogs currently living with veterans who need good behavior skills to accompany their people to the facility for doctor appointments. This is critical for some who have a difficult time leaving their home without their constant companion.
All of this would not be possible without your support.
Thank you from the veterans and their special dogs!
Canines With a Cause Foundation
Can a shelter dog really change a person's life? We see it happen every day at the Canines With a Cause facility. For veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, depressed and abandoned by society, dogs give them unconditional love and a reason to get up in the morning.
Thanks to your ongoing support, Canines With a Cause is able to not only give people in need dogs, we also give them training so their constant companion can accompany them to doctor appointments and other public places. The dogs do more than just help veterans through anxiety attacks, they help them sleep at night and give them a purpose.
Your Global Giving funds are used for training, feeding and making sure the dogs are healthy. In the shelter they were just another dog, but to these veterans they are a reason to live.
Canines With a Cause was recognized by Select Health, one of the nation's top-ranked integrated health systems, as one of 25 Utah nonprofits that work to improve wellness in their communities. More than 200 organizations applied.
Your ongoing support for the "Canines With a Cause" (CWAC) program has made the difference in the lives of rescued shelter dogs, our volunteers and adopters. This story is one of many, this story belongs to you, our donors:
Oliver came to the shelter as a stray, a scared, emaciated little Border Collie mix. He waited, along with all of the other dogs, for the person who never took the time to find him and bring him home.
When Skye Poitras, Salt Lake City, Utah, team leader for Best Friends' Community Training Partners Program and Sherry Woodard, Best Friends behavior consultant came across Oliver while evaluating dogs for the CWAC program, they almost did not see him. He was curled in a ball hiding in a corner, the large dog he had been placed in the small kennel with had been biting him and he was severely stressed out and scared.
Oliver passed his behavior and temperament tests with flying colors, but as it turns out, he was very sick. He had developed a bad infection from the bite wounds and his poor health from lack of nutrition and stress had made it worse. Off to the vet he went and although he missed the first two weeks of basic training, Oliver made up for lost time, he was a dog with a purpose...
Shea is a local young man who lives with Cerebral palsy. He is outgoing, witty and enjoys outdoor activities such as downhill skiing, his wheel chair and lack of mobility do not slow him down. He was looking for a companion who also loved the outdoors, could help him retrieve items and straighten him in the chair when needed. Oliver was just the dog, unconditional love included.
Oliver is currently finishing his basic training and ready to enter a foster home where he will continue to train one-on-one. He will learn commands specific to Shea's needs, increase his vocabulary and skills like pulling and opening doors. He will also train with Shea and begin "overnight sleepovers". Soon Oliver will be working at Home Depot with Shea, Border Collie's love jobs!
Our adopters are not the only ones who benefit from the dogs. Our volunteer trainers/handlers are not only learning how to train dogs, they are also giving back to the community. This is beneficial to the veterans who are not ready to take on the responsibility of having a dog but like being around them, dogs are great stress relievers. The vets are also learning a trade and getting out into the community, they are training dogs for people like Shea, a win for everyone.
On March 16, GlobalGiving.org is matching at 30% all online donations up to $1,000 per donor per project. In addition to the 30% match, GlobalGiving is offering a $1,000 bonus to the project that raises the most funds that day and a $1,000 bonus to the project that receives donations from the most individual donors! This is a wonderful opportunity to continue your support for the "Canines With a Cause" program.
Please take the time to watch the attached news video and see our work in progress, meet Oliver, Shea, our volunteers and dogs.
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