Above, Loki and her Veteran handler Adrian.
2014 Battle Buddies Program: We are currently accepting applicants for our Companion and Therapy Dog Programs. Are you in the Northern Virginia area and would like to learn more?
- Companion Dogs
- Therapy Dogs
Every interested Veteran who wants a dog may benefit from a trained companion or pet animal. We do not breed dogs for the purposes of our mission. Most dogs we use are rescues from shelters, or breed rescue groups.
- Why a dog program?
There is compelling evidence that supports the role of dogs in helping and healing humans. With Battle Buddies, we seek to help Veterans reclaim normalcy in their lives. Our dogs provide their human handlers with emotional supports – in additional to providing opportunities for social interaction and an integration into needed daily routine. These dogs are carefully selected and placed. Training support is provided. From the individual’s companion dog, the therapy dog who visits others to aid in their recovery, to the highly trained service dog – we seek to provide the best match for our clients.
- How is this done?
As a program of Invisible Wound, our model is a grassroots, community based support program: we network and form partnerships with local shelter and rescue groups, positive method dog trainers, veterinarians and other community members to provide support for Warriors and their families. Through these efforts we develop mentors for our program. Our mentors may assist in screening dogs for our program, help with training, become trainers themselves or visit other Veterans with their partner therapy dogs to help in the rehabilitation process. In working with the public and having our Veteran mentors out in the community we become more visible, create touchstone individuals in the veterans’ local communities and educate the public about the issues surrounding PTSD.
- The Battle Buddies Difference:
Battle Buddies, an Invisible Wound program, is based on a grassroots, community support approach with Veterans acting as mentors, trainers and in other support roles in maintaining contact with clients. We aim to give hands-on, ongoing support in new skill development and problem solving. We are dedicated to positive training as part of the treatment program of PTSD.
Position Statement on the Use of Dominance Theory in the Behavior Modification of AnimalsAmerican Veterinary Society of Animal Behaviorwww.AVSABonline.org