Trained Service Dogs For Veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) get custom-trained service dogs for free with lifetime support.
While military service may only last for a limited time, the psychological and physical wounds that Veterans experience can last a lifetime. The healing process is a unique journey for every Veteran, and for some, every day is a challenge. From the roughly 2.7 million Americans that have deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001, it's estimated that 1 in 5 is experiencing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Conditions like PTSD presents numerous symptoms that disrupt daily living and make it difficult to sleep, socialize, and maintain independence.
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.
Could A Service Dog From PAVE Support You?
Veterans with psychological and/or physically disabled veterans experience a range of complex and persistent symptoms including nightmares, depression, difficulty socializing and anxiety. PAVE service dogs provide specialized tasks for Veterans to 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 up Veterans during nightmares
- Improve sleep quality and quantity
- Increase independence
- Positive social interactions can be increased
- Lower symptoms of MST, PTSD, anxiety, or depression
- Reduce need for medications
- Enhance the Veteran's quality of life and positive outlook
- Assistance with daily tasks
- Reduce hypervigilance
Hear From Our Veterans
Alex was severely injured by an IED while serving in Afghanistan. Since returning home, his PAVE service dog, Troy, provides support for him and his wife Kim. It takes just one look at Troy and Alex to see the powerful bond created between the pair.
~ Alex and Troy
John suffered from debilitating nightmares for decades. They robbed him of his independence and will to live. Just as John thought nothing would alleviate the suffering, PAVE matched him with his service dog, Truman.
~ John and Truman
Tiffany’s life was torn apart by PTSD. In her darkest moments, she barely got three hours of sleep. PAVE facilitated 1:1 training and customized placement with service dog, Sage, to help Tiffany regain her life. Her message for all Veterans is, “Don’t quit! Don’t give up!”
~ Tiffany and Sage
Our Basic Criteria for a Service Dog
- You became disabled while serving the country. It doesn't necessarily have to be combat-related.
- Have a clinical diagnosis of PTSD, MST, TBI, or need for certain physical help.
- Currently receiving treatment from a supportive provider.
- You can attend our training camp in Portland Metro, Oregon and arrange your transportation and accommodation.
- You can live in California, Idaho or Oregon.
- Can satisfy the mental, physical, and emotional needs of a dog.
- Recognized as honorably discharged
Frequently Asked Questions
About Service Dogs for Veterans
PAVE's mission, to train and provide service dog for Veterans suffering from physical and/or psychological disabilities is to do so.
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 premier international organization promotes excellence in all aspects of assistance dog acquisition, training, partnership, and partnerships. Only three Oregon organizations currently hold accreditation.
PAVE is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization. It receives funding from private donations, corporate gifts, foundation funding and grants.
PAVE charges around $42,000 per dog, which includes follow-up training and support for the life of the dog.
90% of every dollar goes to program expenses.
PAVE provides the service dog, the training, and ongoing support at no charge, along with the initial supply of equipment and supplies valued at over $1,500.
It takes approximately 1.5 – 2 years to train a service dog.
PAVE works with Guide Dogs for the Blind, selected breeders, and rescues/shelters.
PAVE primarily trains Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, or Lab/Golden crosses.
These breeds have consistently been successful in service dog work regarding aptitude, temperament, and work ethic.
As soon as the dogs join our program!
PAVE dogs are trained by certified, professional dog trainers specializing in service dogs. They use positive reinforcement methods.
PAVE assistance dogs are trained to the specific disability needs of the individual Veteran. Examples of tasks they perform depend on the Veteran's specific needs but may include:
- Turn lights on/off
- Open or close doors
- Retrieve items
- Nightmare interruption
- Redirect Veterans during a PTSD episode
- Provide DPT (Deep Pressure Therapy) and grounding
No, PAVE does not train or certify dogs already owned by the Veteran. Assistance Dogs International lists some organizations that offer that kind of training.
The initial required qualifications are:
- Honorable discharge.
- Licensed health professional ongoing support appropriate for the mental and/or physical disabilities.
- Housing and financial stability to provide for the well-being of the service dog.
Have another Question?
Email the PAVE team at [email protected], and we’ll answer all your questions about service dogs for Veterans.
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. The trained tasks completed by service dogs through our comprehensive training program empower Veterans to live an independent, fulfilling life.
Apply for a PAVE Service Dog
Are you ready to regain your independence?
Our team is ready to support you through the PAVE process from application to training camp with your new companion and service dog. 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 with PAVE by completing the simple contact form.
We look forward to speaking with you.