Veterans With Dogs specialise in helping Veterans lead independent lives by training assistance dogs in task-specific skills relevant to mental health.
Veterans with Dogs trains and provides assistance dogs for current and former members of the British Armed Forces with service-related mental health conditions.
Veterans with Dogs was founded for the purpose of training fully accredited assistance dogs to help mitigate the symptoms of mental health difficulties for Veterans and active-duty service members. Veterans who qualify through the programme have partnerships that they can depend on to help them recognise earlier the increasing symptoms of their difficulties. The dogs are trained to intervene with interruptive
behaviours to help their Veteran with emotional regulation, grounding and to remain safe.
It is commonly recognised and accepted, a Veteran suffering from a condition such as PTSD can become extremely isolated – and their life can become dominated by conditions such as anxiety and depression. Introducing a specially trained dog into the life of a Veteran who is suffering from PTSD has been shown to have hugely beneficial outcomes, increasing their quality of life and regain independency.
Local girl Belle
Belle is a three-year-old black Labrador and a much-loved family pet. To help raise awareness of the charity, she has recently passed her assessment to be a Veterans with Dogs Community Support Dog. She is now able to wear her Community Dog coat with pride.
A Community Dog provides access to the public within group activities and represents the charity at public
events. These dogs need to be trained and are assessed before they are accepted as a Community Dog. They can be playful and fun, but also have the ability to be very relaxed and settled when required. They need to be calm and confident in many different situations and be able to bring their natural benefits of physical interaction to the public.
Belle’s training is continuing so that she can further the support she can give to the charity. She is now learning to carry out tasks which might be required of an assistance dog to support their veteran. She will then be able to demonstrate these to the public as an example of what these highly intelligent and special
assistance dogs can do. Belle, and her humans, Carol and Andy, are happy to attend any local events to help raise awareness of this much needed charity. They can be contacted through Veterans with Dogs.
Damory Vets in Blandford have very kindly agreed have a collection tin in the reception area from the end of April in support of Veterans with Dogs. For more details of the charity, please visit their website (veteranswithdogs.uk) and support the charity in any way that you can.