War Vets Heal With the Help of Shelter Dogs

by Canines With a Cause
Jun 11, 2012

Canines With a Cause Expands Programs For Veterans

Romeo training at Salt Lake City VA class
Romeo training at Salt Lake City VA class

Robert Harding joined the Army fresh out of high school because he felt a sense of duty to protect his family and nation after the 9-11 attack. While on patrol in a Humvee in Iraq, Robert sustained injuries from a roadside bomb.

By the time he returned home after his second combat tour, Robert was having nightmares every night, not sleeping for days. Robert was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), a severe anxiety disorder characterized by nightmares, hyper-vigilance and flashbacks, an invisible wound.

Unfortunately, this is a story we hear all too often from the veterans reaching out to Canines With a Cause (CWAC) for the help, comfort and unconditional love that our shelter dogs bring them.

Thanks to the support of caring donors like you, CWAC has been able to expand our placement and train-the trainer program to three areas in Northern Utah.

Through the support of the VA Center in Provo, we have a wonderful space available at Utah Valley University for veterans to train their own service dogs and recently returned combat veterans to train for other veterans not able to participate due to physical restrictions.

Our program is going strong in Salt Lake City. To date, we have placed over 100 dogs from high-kill shelters in loving homes. Our vets are helping the dogs become more adoptable and find loving homes. Training the dogs gives the vets a sense of purpose and helps them transition back into civilian life, especially when the dog is being trained to help another veteran or special needs child.

Planning is currently underway for a program in the Ogden area, the need is great as Hill Air Force Base is located nearby and demand has been overwhelming. The vets living in this area have been commuting to Salt Lake City, difficult for those who rely on mass transit due to their PTSD.

Special Story!-Eight weeks ago one of our shelter dogs arrived from California ready to give birth. She was on death row in the San Bernardino shelter due to her condition and we just couldn't let this special girl and her babies die. Alice gave birth to eight fat, healthy CWAC-ette's, mom and babies are doing well.

In just a few days, CWAC has the opportunity to significantly increase our funding through the Global Giving Matching Day on June 13th. Starting at 12:01 am EDT GlobalGiving will match 50% of all donations made through www.globalgiving.org up to $1,000 per donor. Please get your donations in as matching will last until funds run out or until 11:59 pm EDT

Please LIKE and follow our progress through our Facebook page and website. 

We could not accomplish any of this without your support!


Cathy King

Trainer Shaun Woodard at Utah Valley University
Trainer Shaun Woodard at Utah Valley University
Trainer Astrid Smith
Trainer Astrid Smith
Micheal and Bernie
Micheal and Bernie
Alice and pups
Alice and pups



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Organization Information

Canines With a Cause

Location: Salt Lake City, UT - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.canineswithacause.org
Project Leader:
Cathy King
Park City, UT United States
$325,392 raised of $500,000 goal
7,079 donations
$174,609 to go
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