In a special ceremony on March 31, 2012 over 20 paws4people™ and paws4vets™ Service Dogs will receive their official vests and be recognized as professionally trained partners for Active-Duty Military and Veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as well as Adolescents with life changing disabilities.
The event is organized by paws4people™ foundation and students participating in the University of North Carolina - Wilmington/paws4people™ Assistance Dog Training Program. This program, the only of its kind in the country, began at UNCW in 2011. Through the program, students become educated on the training and utilization of Assistance Dogs throughout all fields, and become eligible to receive a custom-trained paws4people™ Assistance Dog to use within their chosen career fields upon graduation.
Each Service Dog can spend up to 18 months in one of paws4people’s five federal or state prison facilities before being placed for one on one training with a Client. Service Dogs are trained by inmates dedicated to this work as a way of giving back to society.
“paws4people™ provides individual intervention transfer training to each Client” said Kyria Henry, founder of paws4people™ foundation at 12 years old. “This ensures that all Service Dog handlers are fully trained in not only how to utilize their working partner, but also how to ensure their safety and behavior at all times.” Ms. Henry wrote the course curriculum and currently teaches the Assistance Dog courses at the University.
This is particularly important for military and veteran clients with PTSD and TBI; whose very diagnoses and symptoms make it more difficult for them to learn how to maintain their Service Dog’s safety and behavior even when their own symptoms such as flashbacks and anxiety intervene.
About paws4people™ foundation
paws4people™ services the entire mid-Atlantic region (nine states) and currently is comprised of 150+ volunteers, approximately 70 federal inmates and 20+ Wounded Warriors. As of 12/2011 paws4people™ dogs and handlers have conducted over 322,000 educational and therapeutic contacts during more than 19,200 visits. In addition paws4people™ has over 175 dogs under private placement, training, or operational programs.
Visit the website at http://paws4people.org to help or to find more information.
Information Source: WEBWIRE