The New York based Guardians of Rescue (GOR) just announced that their new chapter of Paws of War will be headed up by a combat veteran in conjunction with Charles Jackson, an animal trainer. This new chapter of the organization will be located in Hudson Valley, New York. This new branch goes hand-in-hand with GOR’s mission to protect the well-being of all animals.
The first order of business for Paws of War (POW) will be to place one very special dog with a veteran in the upper New York region. The dog is currently being trained and training will be complete in June, therefore the dog will be suitable to help the veteran with any issues he or she may be having after their service is complete.
“Our mission with this is to help bring together veterans and the trained dogs who ultimately need each other,” stated Dori Scofield, Vice President of Guardians of Rescue. “We are pleased to be partnering with Paws of War on this front and know that it will make a difference in the lives of many.”
The dog’s name is Geronimo and he is a one-year-old German shepherd rescue. He is being trained by the Hudson Valley POW chapter and then will be placed with a veteran when training is through.
The not-for-profit Paws of War has a mission to provide service dogs to military vets that suffer from PTSD (Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder) and TBIs (Traumatic Brain Injuries). According to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, PTSD is liable to occur after someone has gone through a trauma Sources: U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. How common is PTSD? <http://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/PTSD-overview/basics/how-common-is-ptsd.asp>).
It has been estimated that seven-to-eight percent of the general population could potentially have PTSD as some point in their lifetime. These rates are significantly greater for veterans that have been through combat.
It has been deduced that approximately 30% of Vietnam War veterans have Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder while 12% of service men and women from the Gulf War have it and now as many as 20% that served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom have it. The numbers are going up.
Veterans that have trained service animals have found them to be a great form of treatment for PTSD. Pairing a vet with a service animal often makes the difference between the vet feeling comfortable to leave the comfort of home – or not.
The best thing is that canines in shelters or rescues are able to be trained in this particular form of service. Then they are able to be placed with veterans. This is a huge win-win situation for both the veteran as well as the trained canine.
“As a combat veteran, I understand the sacrifices that veterans make and the importance of making a difference in a veteran’s life when they are making the difficult transition to civilian life. It’s an honor to be able to train these dogs and unite them with a fellow veteran,” explains Charles Jackson. “They have helped our Country and this is just one small way we can show our appreciation.”
Charles Jackson owns Blue Line K9 Services which is a dog obedience training business located in the Hudson Valley. Jackson is a former police K9 handler and an Army veteran that served in Operation Desert Storm. He currently supervises the City of Newburgh Police K9 Unit. Not only is he skilled but is a very passionate dog trainer. He provides basic and advanced obedience training in addition to service dog training. He is certified by the American Kennel Club as an evaluator.
If you have a veteran in your family or know of one interested in a service dog, go to www.guardiansofrescue.org. Not only is there more information about Paws of War, but there is an application available on the website as well.