The organization paired Daus with a Great Pyrenees Dalmatian Mix. Today, the veteran and dog are a good match. About his four-legged friend, he also said that “he was so in tune with me that the first time we met, he was leaning on me. He already knew that he loved me. It just seemed like he knew that we were meant to be together.”
Another organization training service dogs for veterans dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is Kevlar K-9, based in Wichita, Kansas. Toney Turner, who heads the organization, said dogs are doing things that no pill could ever do. He added that “most of the veterans in our program usually have their medications cut in half if not closer to three quarters.”
So far, Kevlar K-9 has paired ten veterans with service dogs since April 2019. They train dogs at no cost to the veterans, except for the application fee. One such recipient is Leslie Rooney, who served in the Air Force for four years. Rooney has suffered from PTSD since returning from duty.
Rooney said that “If we could get more dogs with more veterans, I think the 22 suicides a day of veterans would decrease. She has been a lifeline to me, I don’t know where I would be right now if I didn’t have her.”
According to the US Department of Veteran Affairs, suicides among veterans are already considered a crisis. In 2018 alone, it has claimed 6,435 veteran lives, at the rate of 1.5 times more than non-veteran suicides.