Grant Allows Dog T.A.G.S. to Train Veteran Service Dogs
First Nonprofit recently awarded a $5,000 grant to Dog T.A.G.S. (Train Assist Guide Serve), a 501(c)(3) service dog owner training program for veterans experiencing service-connected Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and/or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). The veteran trains his/her personal dog with the help of experienced dog trainers. They work with veterans who served in conflicts ranging from Vietnam to present day Iraq and Afghanistan.
Grant Supports Service Dog Selection and Training
This grant will assist one veteran diagnosed from PTSD or TBI to train him/herself and his/her dog to become a service dog specifically for that veteran. This can entail selection of an appropriate dog if veteran doesn’t already own an appropriate dog along with all training from Level 1 through Level IV. It also entails all the equipment needed for training as well as any special equipment needed by the veteran to suit any physical disabilities.
The support animal enables the veteran to focus on activities of daily living and continuing social interactions and family development while gaining independence. Often symptoms of PTSD and TBI cause an individual to be hyper-vigilant. The Dog T.A.G.S. project offers veterans the opportunity, through training, to form a solid bond with their dog, allowing both the dog and the veteran to assist, guide and serve each other – ultimately, opening both up to continued healing.
Dog T.A.G.S. History
Dog T.A.G.S. was incorporated on December 6, 2012. The Founders of the organization were veterans suffering from service connected PTSD who knew the need for a program like this to help them heal. The program meets weekly. Veterans share their thoughts in a group setting with a social worker and train their dogs to become their service animals with qualified instructors to lead and review tasks. Animals have proven to be very effective in calming the symptoms of this group.