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.
"Canines With a Cause" is excited to have 5 new dogs in our training program, Molly, a beautiful little Pit Bull Terrier, Duke, a Black Lab blend, Oliver, a very sweet Border Collie, Cody, our honor roll Aussie Mix and Charlie, a goofy, tap dancing Lab blend. They have been in training for 6 weeks and are doing exceptionally well, Charlie and Oliver already have potential homes.
CWAC is also excited to have a new home at the "Gateway to Canine Partnerships" facility in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Gateway has been training service dogs since 2004, we are happy to be sharing their space. We will miss the Friends of Animals (FOAU) Ranch and our wonderful Summit County volunteers, we are currently working on a program that will allow CWAC to have a presence in Summit County once again soon. More to come...
Tomorrow, March 3rd we will be having an open house for our veterans, volunteers and others interested in joining our program. If you are located in the Salt Lake /Park City area, please stop in. The Gateway facility is located at 40 North 800 West, Salt Lake City, Utah. The open house will be held from 10am to noon.
With tears of joy in our eyes we said good-bye to little Jack on Christmas Eve. Jack was one of the original "Canines With a Cause" in the first phase of our program. Phase one was beyond our expectations, it has been an amazing experience for our group, people and dogs. I would like to extend my sincerest gratitude to everyone who made the successful beginning of this program possible; our generous donors, the dedicated volunteers who helped us train the dogs and took them out on field trips including a trolley ride on Main St. in Park City, our trainer Skye Potrais who taught us that positive reinforcement works not only for training dogs, but in our interactions with other people. Patrick Mahoney, our safety net for the veterans when they needed someone to talk to and support in their day to day lives.
Some of the dogs will continue training with their new people to be Psychiatric Service Dogs and others will just be constant loving companions, giving their people a reason to get up in the morning and unconditional love. We have learned so much and are now ready for Phase two.
Tomorrow we will be picking 5 dogs up from Salt Lake County Animal Services in Salt Lake City, UT. The dogs have been spayed or neutered and passed medical check ups, they have also had behavior assessments. The training will once again be held at the Friends of Animals Utah Rescue and Rehab Ranch in Summit County, Utah. Everyone is excited to meet the new dogs and start training.
We are very excited to announce that Best Friends Animals Society's Community Training Partners will be taking over all aspects of the training program for "Canines With a Cause". We are excited to have them on board, they bring knowledge, experience and talent to the program.
Thank you again for your ongoing support, we are looking forward to expanding the "Canines With a Cause" program to other areas in need this year and begin training in local correctional facilities. More to come....
Happy New Year!
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