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Kid and Dog

Dogs have been my best friends for fifty years.  As a Guide Dog trainer, I have worked with people who are blind and visually impaired for over 40 years and have trained 2000 dogs and people during that that lifetime.

Kid Embracing Puppy

It was my third day at the Kurdish camps in Northern Iraq where the Kurds had fled from their homes after having chemical weapons used on them by their leader, Saddam Hussein.  

The decision to partner with a PTS service dog is a momentous one for most veterans and first responders: trusting an animal to enhance your well-being can provide you with a life-changing experience.  

Our PTS Service Dogs support individuals with anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues, and we are careful to ensure that each of our students is teamed with a dog that best suits that person’s capability, lifestyle, mobility, personality, and psychological needs.  We match each applicant with the dog that will be their partner, and the power of this partnership transforms both their lives. It is this bond within a working service dog team that makes all of the magic happen.

How Can You Get A Custom Canines PTS Service Dog?​

As you work through our application process, you’ll be providing us with key information that will assist our instructors in matching you with the best-suited dog available.  


We aim to gain a clear understanding of your goals, so that we can assign you a dog who will serve as your partner and help fulfill your personal needs. 


Once our training team understands your needs, they will build upon basic tasks of the service dog by introducing advanced tasks that will specifically address your personal needs and goals. 


These advanced tasks are taught in classes, outings, and individual training sessions.  The addition of these personal tasks will provide you with a calming effect and new-found sense of security.

What Happens Upon the Completion of the Training Program?​

Upon completion of training, the newly-created human and PTS service dog team will have begun to master what they need to be successful. 


These techniques include:

  • using the position of your dog to extend your personal space

  • having your dog perform nightmare interruption for you

  • having your dog summon assistance for you

  • facilitating situations where you are more comfortable, because your dog knows how to create calm around you

  • your dog will help you to interact with the public in a personally acceptable fashion.

Two weeks after your placement, you will be contacted for a follow-up consultation. We will follow-up with you monthly for the first six months and then every three months for the remainder of the first year to ensure that the partnership standards you reached at graduation are maintained. As a new handler, you will be required to have your dog re-certified annually. 


Should you and your canine partner need follow-up training throughout the time you are together, our staff will arrange to work with you on any questions or concerns you might have in a prompt and professional manner.


This may include additional follow-up visits to your home to work on specific tasks or dog behavior, contact by phone, email, or video conferencing.


How Do I Know If I Am Eligible to Receive a PTS Service Dog?


If you are a veteran, first responder, or a civilian who is interested in applying for a PTS service dog, please review the following information to determine if you meet our eligibility requirements.  Our service dogs for the PTS program serves veterans with PTS, first-responders with work-related PTS, and civilians with PTS.


The requirements are as follows:


  • You are a veteran of any of the branches of the U.S. Armed Forces (and have received an honorable discharge), a first responder, or civilian with a medically substantiated disability.

  • You are dedicated to maintaining the dog’s training throughout the life of the team and can provide for the well-being of the dog, approximately $100 per month.

  • You are able to meet the physical and emotional needs of a dog, and have an appropriate support system in place to do so if/when you are unable to yourself.

  • Also eligible are professionals working with military organizations that provide physical or mental health care to clients who will benefit from interaction with an Assistance/Facility Service Dog.

I Am a Veteran... Whom Should I Contact?

If you have any questions about our programs, please reach out to our Veteran Support team at 844-888-8850 ext. 4 or to

I have PTS, But I Have My Own Dog... Can You Help?

From our work with veterans with PTS, we have found a need for individuals to be able to train their own dogs as service dog partners.  We have created the “Owner Trainer Academy” to facilitate this, and you can read more about it here HERE!

I Would Like to Help!

We need and welcome the help you might want to give!


Our work with civilians, first responders, and veterans has grown exponentially since we started our HEROES FOR HEROES program. We rely on the generosity of our donors, volunteers, and sponsors to continue providing the life-changing help that a service dog can provide.


Please consider supporting a HERO IN THE MAKING by making a DONATION, becoming a volunteer PUPPY RAISER, or SPONSORING a puppy in training. 

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