Sign In

Service dogs are needed

April 27, 2020

During the stay-at-home orders, more and more retired veterans that are suffering mental and physical disabilities are looking for service dogs. For retired veterans dealing with PTSD and or physical injuries, COVID-19 is bringing up memories they didn’t know they had. Memories they tucked away in a dark place.

That’s why the local nonprofit, Veterans Moving Forward, which trains service dogs for veterans, is refusing to shut down during this crisis.

Lori Sittner, Director of Operations says, “Some of our veterans who haven’t been able to leave their house or they were on 13, 14 medications. They were afraid to leave their house, their lives were stopped.”

During the coronavirus pandemic, emotional support dogs for veterans dealing with mental and physical challenges are still being trained.

Head trainer Katie Poulson says, “Breeders are telling me that they are getting more calls now than they’ve ever seen before. 15 a day is nothing and we are getting more applications because it has increased a lot of veterans’ PTSD. Having to go through the scare and the isolation, you’re seeing N95 masks everywhere and also I’ve seen respirators out there.”

The K9s are being raised and trained by the organization based out of Sterling, Virginia. The training starts at around 8 weeks old and will last about 2 years.

The dogs can do everything from fetch medication, turn on bathroom lights and open and shut doors to moving quickly on a seizure response.

Life-changing assistance by four-legged friends is vital especially during social distancing and home isolation.

Sittner says, “Verbiage that we are hearing is that this is a war that we are fighting. It’s bringing up bad memories.”

Purina stepped up and donated several pallets of dog food but the reality is this nonprofit is solely based on donations and volunteers. Over 15 fundraiser events have been canceled and volunteers aren’t coming in. The staff says they are doing their best they can on limited resources.

Register Your Dog

  • Most Recent News

    Students Get Therapy Dog

    When middle school students return to class on Jan. 11, they’ll find a new face at the door: Daisy. Daisy is a therapy dog and the personal pet of Rob Kreger, principal of the Rock L. Butler Middle School. The five-year-old golden retriever is not a school pet or mascot, but rather a working dog […]

    Read more

    Therapy Dogtor

    Last March, Caroline Benzel, a third-year medical student, began to notice the stress and discomfort her nurse friends were feeling from the pressures of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. “[Personal protective equipment] can be really rough on the skin,” Benzel, 31, tells PEOPLE. Benzel and her 3-year-old Rottweiler, Loki (who’s also a therapy dog) hatched a […]

    Read more

    Therapy Dog Pups

    When Stanley the miniature fox terrier’s owner passed away, the little dog started a ‘paw-some’ new role – bringing puppy love to some of the Gold Coast’s oldest residents. After Carinity Cedarbrook Diversional Therapist Julianne Staff adopted Stanley, he began visiting the aged care community at Mudgeeraba as a therapy dog. Therapy dogs help to […]

    Read more

    Puppy Cams

    A nonprofit is providing an unusual form of therapy for those on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic – puppy cams! “You spend five minutes with a puppy and try not to smile,” said registered nurse Robin Lingg Lagrone. Lingg Lagrone says watching little furballs wag their tails and prance on their paws helps […]

    Read more

    Pet Committee

    When Moore County’s school doors were abruptly closed earlier in 2020, two- and four-legged volunteers from the Moore County Citizens’ Pet Responsibility Committee (PRC) were in their 12th year of presenting a six-session Pet Responsibility Education Program for fourth-graders. The PRC quickly shifted gears and placed its program materials online as part of a home […]

    Read more

    The Right Rescue Dog

    If your New Year’s resolution is to add a canine family member, good for you. Somewhere out there is the perfect puppy or adult dog for your family. You have a lot of things to think about when you begin to look for that new family member, puppy or dog? Large or small? Purebred or […]

    Read more