This Able Veteran is returning hope to injured veterans and their families by providing them the highest-quality Service Dogs. Period.
Hope is granted by addressing this need on multiple fronts:
- WE TRAIN SERVICE DOGS TO SUPPORT VETERANS WITH INJURIES RESULTING FROM THEIR SERVICE. TAV-trained Service Dogs are able to interrupt the cycles of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) and to support veterans with mobility issues. First, we shape the skills needed in the dogs. Then, over the course of several weeks, we help the dogs and veterans learn to recognize each other’s signals and to form a bond strong enough to carry the veteran through the challenges of recovery.
- WE TRAIN OTHER TRAINERS. Our PTSD Service Dog Trainers Academy prepares highly specialized dog trainers with unique, expert coaching skills. From professional trainers looking to specialize in this area, to student trainers and military veterans seeking to learn dog training, to clinicians who seek to add Animal Assisted Therapy to their therapeutic repertoire - the expertise we teach ultimately benefits the veterans our students serve.
- WE OFFER A CERTIFICATION STANDARD FOR BOTH TRAINERS AND DOGS. Certification raises the bar for the quality of trainers and Service Dogs our veterans can depend on. We are the first organization to offer a certification process by which both trainers and dogs can be measured for efficacy, consistency and quality. Our interactive, collaborative approach to training is unparalleled in the industry.
- WE ARE ESTABLISHING A BREEDING PROGRAM TO PRODUCE MORE OF THE CALIBER OF DOGS NEEDED FOR THIS WORK. The right dog can potentially come from anywhere, but it must pass a rigorous screening to be accepted for our training. A reputable breeding program will ensure the ability to select the most appropriate Service Dog candidate for each individual veteran’s needs. Having a reliable source of dogs with the most suitable temperaments flattens the learning curve, maximizes training efforts, and shortens wait time for the veterans.
WHY WE DO THIS
Over 400,000 veterans of the current war suffer from mental trauma. Everyday things we take for granted, such as going shopping, to a ballgame, to class, to dinner with family, or getting on a plane, are things they often cannot do. Just the simple act of driving can trigger flashbacks. These service members wrote a blank check to our country and deserve no less than the care a specially trained Service Dog can provide. The right Service Dog, one custom-selected and trained for each individual’s needs, can give these men and women a chance to truly come home.
HOW WE SUCCEED
We have developed a veteran-centric model of care that involves the veteran, their clinician, the Service Dog, and This Able Veteran. To prepare our staff to most effectively train these Service Dogs, we worked extensively with VA clinicians, ran simulations, and interacted with veterans suffering from combat injuries. We then applied this knowledge to our training program. The result is a carefully selected,
custom-trained Service Dog matched for and specially adapted to meet the needs of each individual veteran. Working in tandem with the clinicians treating the veteran, we gain an understanding of what issues each individual faces. We then teach the veteran to work through those situations as a team with their Service Dog.
WHAT SETS US APART
Our unique model for trauma recovery not only trains dogs but also integrates them into a team of two with their veteran. Only This Able Veteran provides a custom-selected, highly-trained Service Dog specially adapted to meet the needs of one particular individual. This model of care has proven to be effective where traditional therapies have previously failed.
Our veteran-centric model of care expedites healing.
Our veterans are reporting: a decrease in feelings of numbing and isolation; taking less medication; more sense of belonging, purpose, patience and impulse control.