DFW Canines for Veterans is a non-profit organization that helps veterans with PTSD train with their service dogs.
According to the Veterans Association, on average 22 veterans a day commit suicide.
The program was founded in 2001 by Melissa Caposello, who wanted to help veterans who just came out of the service.
“Growing up in a military family and learning about how 22 veterans a day commit suicide it got kind of real for me,” said Caposello.
While most programs give you a service dog and tell them how to use it the DFW Canines for Veterans has the veterans and the dogs train together.
“It can take anywhere from 6 months to a couple of years,” said Caposello. “We don’t have a timeline we just tell them we will train you until you are done.”
For many of the veterans once they graduate it does not mean the end of the program for them.
Blake Adolph graduated from the program with his dog about 4 months ago and still comes back to the program every week.
“I’m here to help other people out and it’s great to come back whether we learn new stuff or just hang out.”
Adolph said that the training is very meticulous but it works out in the end and leads to a bigger payoff.
These service dogs mean a lot to many of these veterans and how they get thought their daily routine.
Michael Down another graduate from the program said that his dog has been a great tool in helping him adapt and feel normal.
“I have re-occurring nightmares and he will bark and wake me up then he will go and turn the light switch on with his nose,” he said.
Caposello said that they are trying to raise money for an indoor training facility so they don’t have to worry about weather elements.
To find out more about their program visit their website.