CREATED Aug. 5, 2013
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Man's best friend is helping military members suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. The dogs are being trained at SmartyPaws here in Las Vegas.
Brandon Kleindeaux says his dog Foster wakes him up when he suffers from nightmares. And Tabitha Davis says she remembers nothing about the war. Both Brandon and Tabitha suffer from PTSD, a condition that made it impossible to live normal lives until now.
Brandon recalls, "I was on the verge of suicide. And the only reason I didn't hurt myself was because of my dog."
Janet Edberg is a service dog trainer at SmartyPaws. Service dogs have helped her with multiple sclerosis for more than a decade and she knew they could help these veterans too, some of whom were afraid to step into a store until they got the security of a dog by their side.
"I have a waiting list. Right now I have ten on a waiting list. So yes, they're waiting."
Janet has trained 5 service dogs and veterans so far. That was made possible thanks to a grant from the Elk's Lodge. Cory Ossana is a local Elk who applied to the Elks National Foundation for the grant. "Anybody who's given their life to defend our country to do the great things veterans have done and given us the freedoms we have, they deserve everything they get."
But all they want is a dog. Loyal, comforting, and trained to calm their master when they need it most.
Cory Ossana plans to ask the Elks National Foundation for even more grant money next year. You heard Janet say she has a waiting list...so that money will be put to use immediately.
to learn more information about all of the program SmartyPaws offers.