Wounded Warrior Service Dogs, At Ease
"Having a service dog saved my life. Because - instead of worrying about me or focusing on me or worrying about what's going on in my head, what I think I did wrong in Iraq or whatever,
I stopped doing that."
- Marlene (Retired Army Captain, Iraqi War Veteran)
The Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that approximately 30% of the veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). TLCAD's At Ease program is designed to give back and help heal our countries heroes by placing custom trained Service Dogs with Wounded Warriors (active duty service members or veterans) with PTSD, TBI and/or mobility issues. Our service dogs help Wounded Warriors to mitigate their disability and overcome challenges that inhibit them from functioning independently within their family and community. Our Service Dogs open doors both literally and figuratively for our Wounded Warriors by performing cues and behaviors that allow them to reintegrate into their families, communities and increase their independence and quality of life.
TLCAD At Ease service dogs address symptoms of:
PTSD (hyper-vigilance, anxiety, anger, depression, isolation) by:
- Turning lights on and off
- Awaking veterans from nightmares
- Accompanying the veteran in public places
- Performing calming behaviors in the presence of triggers to facilitate reorientation
Mobility limitations and impairments by:
- Retrieving and carrying objects
- Pressing buttons and pulling open doors
- Assisting with prosthetic devices
- Assisting with balance
Traumatic Brain Injury (short and long term memory loss) by:
- Reminding veterans to take medication or perform important tasks
TLCAD matches service dogs with qualified veteran applicants in San Diego County based on the strengths and skills of the dog and the needs of the applicant.
To see how our At Ease Service Dogs impact the lives of Wounded Warriors, please see the story of Jesse and Jag: