Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affects one in five combat Veterans and not only contributes to more than 22 suicides per day in this population, but prevents many of them from leading successful civilian lives. Care for Veterans with PTSD currently overwhelms the VA system’s resources, is inefficient in process, and is often suboptimal in outcome. Likewise, emotional trauma in the civilian population may have similarly devastating effects. At the same time, U.S kill shelters euthanize 1.7 million dogs annually. K9s on The Front Line’s process saves such dogs and they in turn save their recipients, their second chance at life now having more meaning and companionship than ever.
A specially trained PTSD service dog can quite literally save a recipient’s life by neutralizing negative emotions absorbed from the human partner and replacing those emotions with a sense of security. Additionally, these dogs can be trained to perform specific tasks to intercept paranoia and flashbacks, interrupt repetitive or injurious behavior, blunt nightmares, retrieve objects, and guide in stressful situations. Our service dogs act as a social buffer and facilitate a more secure functioning of the individual. Recipients previously crippled or made suicidal by the effects of PTSD are gradually gaining their lives back, advancing their careers, bringing their families back from the brink of collapse and divorce, and becoming emotionally available to their children again.
K9s on The Front Line’s team is particularly proud of our process and training program, which facilitates cost-effective operations and superior outcomes. Many of our staff have first-hand knowledge of the effects of PTSD and have experienced the intimate process of tailoring each dog to the individual’s needs. All our trainers are active or retired police K9 handlers with many years of real world experience, arguably the best K9 trainers available.