When a Veteran or a close relative or spouse contacts our company, they are hoping to find the safety, service therapeutic companionship of having a PTSD Service Protection Dog.
GatorlandK9 International gives Hope to these PTSD Veterans by going the extra mile and helping them secure any additional funding needed to get their fully trained Certified Service Dog. A unique program that we offer is our Puppy Futurity program, where the Veteran receives a puppy and helps raise & train their own puppy to become a Certified PTSD Service Dog. This program helps the Veteran become proactive, engaged in the process & placed with a puppy faster than it would take them to acquire a fully trained Certified PTSD Service Dog.
Our Veteran’s have shared that raising their service puppy is a sure way to alleviate depression, feelings of isolation and loneliness. GatorlandK9 supplies all of the professional training and expertise to allow the puppy and Veteran to grow and train together. We refer the Veterans to professional trainers in our network as well as other non-profits like Ableveterans.com and Servicedogs4servicemen.org. This can help a Veteran with handling and training needs if they are in a different state than Florida. Service Dog Certifications can vary, depending on the individual puppy and the Veteran. The more the Veteran puts into training, the faster the dog receives full Certification. As a Service Dog in training, the dog has full access to go with the Veteran everywhere, offering comfort, protection from crowds & other specialized tasks to help the Veteran with war injuries that cause PTSD & TBI. The dogs can be trained to assist with tasks to help with the use of prosthetics. Louie Tomasso is currently raising his puppy, Topeka, a sable German shepherd. Many Veterans come to us for our German Shepherds over a Labrador retriever because they get a better feeling of the dog “Watching Their Back”.
We look forward to networking and sharing our expertise so that more PTSD Veterans can get the Service Protection Dogs that they need and deserve. For more information on our PTSD Service Protection Dog programs please contact Ted Hoppe at (386) 337-0730,
For a more comprehensive look at our programing and to meet some of our Vets and their Service Dogs please see our June newsletter.
Author: Jill Pavel