Paws 4a Warrior’s mission is to provide Companion Support Dogs and Service Dogs to veterans who have been diagnosed with PTSD or other Traumatic Brain Injuries.

Our dogs are obtained through local shelters and rescue groups.

We look at each veteran as an individual and train each Service Dog based on the veteran’s needs.

We train companions, not pets, for these veterans.

Many disabled people have pets. A Service or Assistance Dog is distinguished from a pet by the specific work or tasks they have been trained to complete.

A Service or Assistance Dog is individually trained to complete identifiable work or tasks that its’ disabled owner has trouble completing for him or herself.

Training Goals (Service Dogs)

Regardless of what disability a service dog is used for, all service dogs need to be able to:

  • Walk through doorways without pulling or rushing.
  • Walk past people in public without turning to sniff or look for affection.
  • Walk past good displays without sniffing at them.
  • Allow well-behaved animals within 10 feet of them without fussing or staring.
  • Ride well in vehicles in a seat belt harness or crate.
  • Wear a soft muzzle without complaining.
  • Allow a stranger to walk them in the event of an emergency.
  • Walk calmly beside a shopping cart.
  • Successfully navigate through crowds.
  • Be relaxed and calm in elevators.
  • Show appropriate behavior in restrooms.

Basic Obedience

Your dog must obey basic verbal and/or hand signal obedience commands such as sit, stay, come, down and heel. When off leash, your dog must come when called.

We take a holistic approach in our obedience training, meaning we don’t train all dog the same. We look at each dog’s individual demeanor and establish a teaching style around their personality.

Goals for Veterans

Under the law, training may be completed by yourself, a friend, a family member, or professional trainer/training organization. It takes about six months to a year (120 hours) to properly train a Service or Assistance Dog.

Veterans are required to participate in the training process, meeting 1-2 days a week until they and their canine partner are able to pass the Public Access Test for service dogs.

Federal Laws and Warnings

WARNING
Those who pretend that they are disabled, or that their pet is a Service Dog so that they may gain entry to areas where the public is normally allowed to go, enter restaurants, fly in-cabin, stay in a hotel, apartment or condominium __ or test the boundaries of what is legal or ethical are breaking federal law.  There are legal options for traveling and living with your dog which you should consider.

There is no gear, ID, paperwork or certification required by US federal law for a service dog to work in public.

Federal law mandates that anywhere a member of the general public is allowed to go, so may an individual accompanied by a Service Dog. This includes restaurants, hotels, hospitals, universities, theaters, stores, and any other public accommodations.

A service dog team cannot be charged any fees or deposits for the dog’s presence.

Federal law mandates complete access at no charge for all service dog teams.

Types of Service Dogs

When you think of a service animal, most people think of the seeing eye dog. Depending on who you ask, there are more than 10 types of service animals.

A few examples are listed below.

Allergy Alert Dogs
Autism Assistance Dogs
Brace/Mobility Support Dogs
Diabetic Alert Dog
Hearing Dogs
Medical Alert Dogs
Medical Assistance Dogs
Psychiatric Service Dogs
Seizure Response Dogs
Visual Assistance Dogs
Wheelchair Assistance Dogs

What are the differences between a CSD and a Service Dog?

A service animal is a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability. According to The American with Disabilities Act:

Examples of such work or tasks include guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications, calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack, or performing other duties.

Service animals are working animals, not pets.

The work or task a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability.

Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.

A companion or emotional support dog’s sole purpose is to provide comfort or emotional support for their owners.  They are not considered working dogs by the ADA.

CSD’s do not have public access rights with the exception of:
1. Being able to travel on air liners
2. Being allowed in non-pet living facilities.

In each of these cases, the owner must provide documentation from their doctor showing their need for a CSD.

If flying, you should always check with your airline for any updated rules and regulations.
For more information visit www.ada.gov
Under certain circumstances it may be possible to deduct some expenses of owning a CSD from your taxes.  Consult your accountant for more information.

Therapy Pet Benefits
Benefits of Therapy Animals &
Healthy Reasons to Have a Pet
 
Benefits of Therapy Animals & Healthy Reasons to Have a Pet
Compiled List of Some Research Findings
 
•Visits with a therapy dog helps heart and lung function by lowering pressures, diminishing release of harmful hormones and decreases anxiety with hospitalized heart failure patients. (Cole, 2005)
 
•Displaying tanks of brightly colored fish may curtail disruptive behavior and improve eating habits of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. (Beck, 2002)
 
•Presence of a therapy dog can lower behavior distress in children during a physical examination at a doctor’s office and may be useful in a variety of healthcare settings to decrease procedure-induced distress in children. (Nagengast, 1997, Hansen, 1999).
 
•Presence of a dog during dental procedures can reduce the stress of children who are distressed about coming to the dentist. (Havener, 2001)
 
•Animal-assisted therapy can effectively reduce the loneliness of residents in long-term care facilities. (Banks, 2002).
 
•People with borderline hypertension had lower blood pressure on days they took their dogs to work. (Allen, K. 2001).
 
•Seniors who own dogs go to the doctor less than those who do not. In a study of 100 Medicare patients, even the most highly stressed dog owners in the study has 21 percent fewer physician’s contacts than non-dog owners. (Siegel, 1990).
 
•Activities of daily living (ADL) level of seniors who did not currently own pets deteriorated more on average than that of respondents who currently owned pets. (Raina, 1999).
 
•Seniors who own pets coped better with stress life events without entering the healthcare system. (Raina, 1998).
•Pet owners have lower blood pressure. (Friedmann, 1983, Anderson 1992).
 
•Pet owners have lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels than non-owners (Anderson, 1992).
 
•ACE inhibitors lower resting blood pressure but they do not diminish reactivity to mental stress. Pet ownership can lessen cardiovascular reactivity to psychological stress among hypertensive patients treated with a daily dose of Lisinopril. (Allen, 1999).
 
•Companionship of pets (particularly dogs) helps children in families adjust better to the serious illness and death of a parent (Raveis, 1993).
 
•Pet owners feel less afraid of being a victim of crime when walking with a dog or sharing a residence with a dog. (Serpel, 1990).
 
•Pet owners have fewer minor health problems (Friedmann, 1990, Serpel, 1990).
 
•Pet owners have better psychological well-being (Serpel, 1990).
 
•Contact with pets develops nurturing behavior in children who may grow to be more nurturing adults (Melson, 1990).
 
•Pet owners have a higher one-year survival rates following coronary heart disease (Friedman, 1980, 1995).
 
•Medication costs dropped from an average of $3.80 per patient per day to just $1.18 per patient per day in new nursing home facilities in New York, Missouri and Texas that have animals and plants as an integral part of the environment. (Montague, 1995).
 
•Pets in nursing homes increase social and verbal interactions adjunct to other therapy. (Fick, 1992).
 
•Pet owners have better physical health due to exercise with their pets. (Serpel, 1990).
 
•Having a pet may decrease heart attack mortality by 3%. This translates into 30,000 lives saved annually (Friedman, 1980).
 
•Dogs are preventive and therapeutic measures against everyday stress (Allen, 1991).
 
•Pets decrease feeling of loneliness and isolation (Kidd, 1994).
 
•Children exposed to humane education programs display enhanced empathy for humans compared with children not exposed to such programs. (Ascione, 1992).
 
•Positive self-esteem of children is enhanced by owning a pet. (Bergensen, 1989).
 
•Children’s cognitive development can be enhanced by owning a pet. (Poresky, 1988).
 
•70% of families surveyed reported an increase in family happiness and fun subsequent to pet acquisition. (Cain, 1985).
 
•The presence of a dog during a child’s physical examination decreases their stress. (Nadgengast, 1997, Baun, 1998).

There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.
~ Bernard Williams