This is Soldier ON Service Dogs
Serving Those Who Have Already Served
Soldier ON Service Dogs is an NWA based 501(c)3 organization providing qualified, trained service dogs to local veterans living with PTSD and/or Traumatic Brain Injury at no charge to the veteran.
Soldier ON Service Dogs (SOSD) was founded by Angie Pratt in September 2014 after a close relative, a Marine bomb technician, was injured in Afghanistan and began experiencing the effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). After researching treatments, she realized a service dog would be of great benefit but no such organizations were to be found in this area. Thus, began Soldier On Service Dogs, the only organization of its kind in the state of Arkansas.Twenty percent of Iraqi and Afghanistan war veterans have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and/or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Estimates for Northwest Arkansas put the number of PTSD/TBI Veterans at about 14,000. Of those, 840 (6%) would benefit from a service dog. PTSD/TBI service dogs do amazing things for their veterans. They detect seizures, disrupt nightmares, call 911, reduce the need for medication, mitigate anxiety, reduce stress and save families and veterans’ lives.
Twenty percent of Iraqi and Afghanistan war veterans have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and/or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Estimates for Northwest Arkansas put the number of PTSD/TBI Veterans at about 14,000. Of those, 840 (6%) would benefit from a service dog. PTSD/TBI service dogs do amazing things for their veterans. They detect seizures, disrupt nightmares, call 911, reduce the need for medication, mitigate anxiety, reduce stress and save families and veterans’ lives.
SOSD puts its dogs through a two-year training process. First, the company acquires a puppy between six and eight weeks old. The puppy is then sent to live with a foster family (see Puppy Raisers for more information), where it is disciplined and learns to adapt to a family environment. After about a year, the dog is brought in for advanced work with the company’s trainers for four to six months. When the dog reaches 18 months old, it is paired with a veteran for further training.
Each veteran applicant is required to be in counseling and has obtained a letter from that counselor stating they would benefit from a service dog and would be able to take care of it. Soldier ON Service Dogs also requires the veterans take classes with them to find a dog that suits them and learn to handle their dogs. These classes continue as long as necessary before the veteran is allowed to take their service dog home. The entire training and raising process costs about $25,000 per dog/veteran duo.
To operate as a charitable organization by providing, at no charge, trained service dogs and service dog training to qualified veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and/or Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI), and by contributing to the overall knowledge base of best practices associated with service dogs.
We will focus on the quality of the dog, it’s training, it’s trainers and veteran clients to assure successful placement and ongoing dog/client partnerships.
To provide a validating study while simultaneously helping to fill the gap in the availability of service dogs here in Arkansas. More specifically, we will have a curriculum based program where we will over the next three years accomplish the following:
1 – Acquire 75 purpose breed dogs.
2 – Train dogs to a service dog level and then extend it to advanced PTSD level.
3 – Screen and match veterans to dogs.
4 – Keep and maintain a database of training methods, trainer, dog, and veteran’s data longitudinally.
CAROLING ON THE CREEK
Springdale Public Schools Vocal Music Department presents CAROLING IN THE CREEK. A musical celebration in downtown Springdale, Arkansas.
Shiloh Square, Turnbow Park. Emma Street this Friday, December 15 at 5 pm.
Santa arrives at 6:30 pm
Saint Nick and the Space Nicks will be available at SOSD’s table!