ECAD's Project HEAL® honors and empowers Veterans with combat-related physical and/or psychiatric disabilities including amputees, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and/or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), by providing specifically educated Service Dogs for veterans to increase independence and make a positive difference in every aspect of their lives.
The specially trained Service Dogs for vets learn numerous specialty commands to aid Veterans including reminding them to take medications, sensing and warding off hyper-viligance, depression and anger, and offering non-judgemental companionship and unconditional love. Additional these specially educated dogs provide stability, mobility and retrieval assistance.
The applicant must be
- A Veteran with a service-connected physical and/or psychiatric disability.
- Willing to learn to incorporate and work with a Service Dog in all aspects of your life.
- Consistently attending therapy sessions and taking prescribed medications.
- Willing and able to travel to our Connecticut training center for interviews, Team Training, and yearly public access testing.
- In need of a Service Dog to assist in activities of daily living due to some type of physical restriction.
- Accepting of his or her disability.
- Able to commit to uphold the training for the life of the dog.
- Able to show that he or she has the appropriate environment and resources to properly care for a dog.
All participants are required to complete a thirteen-day Team Training, where they are taught commands, skills, and canine behavior through lectures, dog handling drills, and community field trips. During Team Training, attendees have the option to stay on-site in shared lodging.
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