Service Dogs For Veterans with Military Sexual Trauma (MST)
Veterans with Military Sexual Trauma (MST) receive custom-trained service animals at no cost with lifetime support.
Although military service is only for a short time, the mental and physical traumas suffered by Veterans can last a lifetime. Every Veteran goes through a unique healing process. Some veterans find it challenging every day. It is estimated that 1 out 5 suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) among the nearly 2.7 million Americans who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. TBI, MST, PTSD and PTSD all have symptoms that make daily living difficult.
Service dogs provide immense support for Veterans to improve their quality of life. PAVE exists to assist more Veterans in obtaining the benefits of service dogs. Our customized training and life-long support make a real and lasting difference in the lives and careers of Veterans. Are you a Veteran looking to regain independence? Contact us today.
Is A PAVE Service Dog Right For Me?
Veteran with psychological or physical disabilities may experience a variety of chronic and complex symptoms, including anxiety, social difficulties, depression, and nightmares. Veterans with disabilities can have their PAVE service dogs perform specialized tasks that improve their quality of life. PAVE service dogs have been proven to provide support to Veterans in a variety of ways, from making basic tasks easier to providing critical support to those who face significant challenges.
- Wake Veterans from nightmares
- Sleep quality and quantity can be improved
- Increase your independence
- Positive social interactions can be increased
- Lower symptoms of PTSD/MST, anxiety, and depression
- Reduce your need for medication
- Enhance the Veteran's quality of life and positive outlook
- For everyday tasks, physical assistance
- Reduce hypervigilance
Hear From Our Veterans
Our basic criteria for a PAVE service dog
- You became disabled while serving your country (doesn't need to be combat-related).
- Have a clinical diagnosis of PTSD, MST, TBI, or need for certain physical help.
- You are currently receiving support from a provider.
- Can attend the training camp in Portland Metro, Oregon. You will be responsible for your transportation and accommodation.
- Live in California, Idaho, Oregon, or Washington.
- Can meet the physical, mental, and emotional needs of a dog.
- Have been honorably discharged.
Please note that PAVE does not place service dogs for legally blind, hearing impaired, or medical alert dogs (seizure, diabetic alert for example). Please see ADI for organizations that specialize in these areas.
Frequently Asked Questions
About Service Dogs for Veterans
PAVE's mission it to provide service dogs for Veterans with mental and/or physical disabilities.
PAVE does not place service dogs for legally blind, hearing impaired, or medical alert dogs (seizure, diabetic alert, for example). For organizations who specialize in these areas, please visit ADI.
Yes, PAVE has been accredited as a member of Assistance Dogs International. This international leader in assistance dog training and acquisition sets and promotes high standards of excellence. Only three Oregon organizations are currently accredited members.
PAVE, a 501(c),(3) non-profit organization, is funded through private donations, corporate donations and foundation funding.
PAVE charges around $42,000 per dog, which includes follow-up training and support for the life of the dog.
Around 90 cents of each dollar goes towards program expenses.
PAVE pays for the service dog, training and support, as well as the initial equipment and supplies worth over $1,500.
It takes approximately 1.5 - 2 years to train a service dog.
PAVE is a partner with Guide Dogs for the Blind, selected breeders, and rescues/shelters.
PAVE trains Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers or Lab/Golden crosses.
These breeds are known for their ability, temperament, and work ethic.
Training commences when the dogs are accepted into our program.
PAVE dogs can be trained by professional, certified dog trainers that specialize in service dogs. They employ positive reinforcement techniques.
PAVE assistance dogs are trained to the specific disability needs of the individual Veteran. Some of the tasks they do depend on the Veteran, but could include:
- Turn lights on/off
- Open or close doors
- Get items
- Nightmare interruption
- Redirect Veterans during a PTSD episode
- Grounding with DPT (Deep Pressure Therapy)
No, PAVE does not train or certify dogs already owned by the Veteran. Assistance Dogs International provides a list of organizations that provide this type of training.
The first required qualifications are:
- Honorable discharge.
- A licensed health professional who can offer ongoing support for people with mental and/or physically disabilities.
- Service dogs require housing and financial stability.
Have another Question?
Email the PAVE team at [email protected], and we’ll answer all your questions about service dogs for Veterans.
Why use PAVE?
At Paws Assisting Veterans (PAVE), we are wholeheartedly dedicated to providing Veterans with the support they need and deserve. As a nonprofit service dog organization, we provide service dogs free of charge for Veterans with lifetime support. Veterans can lead a happy, independent life with the help of service dogs who have been trained to perform specific tasks.
Register for a PAVE Service Dog
Are you ready to regain your independence?
Our team will be there to help you from the beginning of your PAVE application to training camp with your service dog or companion. Dedicated to facilitating your new and better life, we provide tailored training and lifelong support with access to professional advice from our specialist dog trainers. There is no charge for your service dog, training, or ongoing support.
Start your journey to PAVE by completing this simple contact form.
We are looking forward to hearing from you.
Help Veterans Regain Their Freedom
Service dogs save lives. Help us to help Veterans by supporting PAVE. Your support and generosity go directly towards helping our Veterans and more donations mean more service dogs for Veterans in need.