Service dogs helping both military veterans and their trainers behind bars
April 18, 2010 7:14 AM   Subscribe

Service dogs for PTSD are changing the lives of both former veterans with PTSD and their trainers (audio/picture version and article version).

More about the Puppies behind bars program here, including an FAQ about the puppies behind bars program here. (e.g, want to name a puppy?, etc.)
Previously
and previously
posted by Wolfster (16 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
Puppies behind bars, gotta love the name, but good cause.
posted by wheelieman at 7:25 AM on April 18, 2010


Worth nothing that PBB has a four star rating from Charity Navigator and that the service dogs for PTSD sufferers was the result of a bill sponsored by Al Franken, the first piece of legislation he wrote. Thanks for the post.
posted by jessamyn at 7:26 AM on April 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


Thanks for the links... I've been aware of PBB for a while, there is a lot of good that comes out of that program.
posted by HuronBob at 8:54 AM on April 18, 2010


eponysterical!

I'm always amazed at how much the presence of a service animal helps people across a range of needs and disabilities. Even untrained pets often sense when their companion needs to be consoled or distracted or protected.
posted by LMGM at 9:03 AM on April 18, 2010


Here's an excellent survey on the impact of psychiatric service dogs.

And retired racing greyhounds re-trained as service dogs are helping veterans with PTSD as well.
posted by vers at 9:16 AM on April 18, 2010


This was a really sweet story. I'm so proud of Al Franken for sponsoring this bill!
posted by onlyconnect at 9:37 AM on April 18, 2010


So here's a neat thing about dogs. They can understand a pointed finger to mean "look over there" not "look at my hand" They can do this without being trained. Or, put another way, tanks to hundreds of thousands of years of co-development, a dog is able to grasp a completely foreign cue (they don't have fingers) from another species and then act on it without being trained to do so.

I just think that's neat.
posted by The Whelk at 9:53 AM on April 18, 2010 [4 favorites]


Thanks for the links, therapy dogs are the best.
posted by Wuggie Norple at 11:02 AM on April 18, 2010


Not only dogs but also cats can be trained to become service animals.

Though I knew it would be good for me to get a pet after years of recovery, I didn't realize my cat would learn to recognize a seizure aura before I did. It took more time for me to realize she was trying to warn me than it did for her to learn to notice I was at risk. In addition, caring for her helps me regain a sense of responsibility that I just don't feel when it was only myself.

I would love to have an animal trained to deal with my PTSD - the idea of being able to have some assistance when I'm "stimming" in public has captured my thoughts. A service animal would certainly help when the cops are called because security has decided I've lost it.
posted by _paegan_ at 1:52 PM on April 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


...the service dogs for PTSD sufferers was the result of a bill sponsored by Al Franken...

Just to be clear, service dogs for PTSD have been around for quite a while, and Franken's bill provided federal/VA funding and support for them. I don't qualify for a service animal, but I know I'd have gone off the deep end if it weren't for my pets. Having them around and dependent on you is an amazing kick-starter for not sitting around like a lump week after week.
posted by Evilspork at 2:07 PM on April 18, 2010


Franken's bill provided federal/VA funding and support for them

The best part too, after reading more about it, is that part of the VA's role in this is to do actual research about these therapy dogs and their helpful effects so that they can be thought of as an actual treament option [with positive health outcomes, etc etc] for people with PTSD. So it's good for soldiers with PTSD specifically now, but is likely to also lead to more research on the therapy dogs role in health generally which will be good news for other PTSD sufferers and people who could benefit from a therapy animal. It's a smart bill [even includes some dorky public-private partnership language] with a lot of good aspects.
posted by jessamyn at 3:08 PM on April 18, 2010


So it's good for soldiers with PTSD specifically now, but is likely to also lead to more research on the therapy dogs role in health generally...

Exactly. When life gives you lemons, breed puppies.
posted by Evilspork at 6:35 PM on April 18, 2010


There was also a good episode of Fresh Air about this last August
posted by hwestiii at 8:14 PM on April 18, 2010


former veterans

Once a veteran of the armed forces, always a veteran.
posted by Doohickie at 9:08 PM on April 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


Unconditional love is the cure for everything.
posted by stormpooper at 6:51 AM on April 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


An anecdote from a nurse about one of these dogs that she's encountered.
posted by restless_nomad at 9:24 AM on April 21, 2010


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