Most people, teens and older, have heard of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). According to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs’ National Center for PTSD, the Disorder can occur after an individual suffers through a traumatic event.
The term came to light due to soldiers in war. Combat exposure, terrorists and terrorist attacks, sexual or physical assault and serious injuries can all lead to PTSD. Non-military people who have been through devastations like 9/11, any of the named assaults or even natural disasters can experience Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Currently the number of people reportedly suffering from PTSD is steadily rising. Due to these statistics, the Guardians of Rescue established a program to combat this growing disorder. The Guardians of Rescue is a non-profit organization aimed at Animals Helping People and People Helping Animals. Guardians of Rescue is also dedicated to provide aid to animals in distress, assisting other rescue programs, rehabilitation, and providing support to families, military and non-military, who might need support due to economic factors.
Guardians of Rescue has risen to the challenge of rescuing dogs, training them as therapy, emotional support or service dogs, and placing them with military, active or non-active duty members, to help them cope with PTSD. The most recent soldier will be active Army Specialist Sam Schultz, a twenty-five year old husband and father of two. Schultz served in Afghanistan in 2011 and 2012 and is currently being treated for Traumatic Brain Injury and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. While living on base at Fort Knox with his wife and two daughters, Schultz lives with a fear of driving, going out in public and sleeping. His PTSD is affecting not only his quality of life, but his family as well.
On August 19, 2013, Army Specialist Sam Schultz will receive Maggie, a Terrier mix emotional support dog to help alleviate his pain and fears. At 1:00 p.m., Guardians of Rescue is traveling to Schultz’s home in Fort Knox, Kentucky to unite Schultz with his new best friend.
“I’m very eager to meet Maggie,” affirms Schultz, “I think this is a great program and I’m excited to be a part of it. PTSD is a very real disorder that affects thousands of people nationwide. I’m hoping that, with Maggie, I’ll be on the road to recovery.”
“We began the Paws of War program because we saw how many military men and women were returning home with PTSD. We wanted to help make a difference and began training emotional support dogs,” affirms founder and president of Guardians of Rescue (GoR), Robert Misseri. GoR is a non-profit animal rescue organization based in New York. “Every dog that Guardians has placed with a member of the military has been a success in helping them cope with PTSD.”
“Past experience has shown us that emotional support dogs are a valuable tool to help so many veterans suffering from PTSD. In fact, every family that we’ve placed a therapy dog with has recommended us to other veterans,” affirms Misseri. “Sam Schultz is our first active military recipient, but I’m very optimistic about a positive result for Sam.”
For more information about Guardians of Rescue, or to make a donation, visit www.guardiansofrescue.org.