Changing Lives: How Canines for Heroes Helps Veterans and First Responders with PTSD

by | Sep 24, 2023 | Dogs, First Responders, Service Animals, Veteran | 0 comments

 None of us like war or natural disasters.  They have happened and continue to happen.  They leave emotional and psychological scars on the people who put their lives on the line. Veterans and First Responders (like Firefighter Paramedic Jim and Ember) often deal with the aftermath of trauma.  Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is one of the most common issues. In some cases,  PTSD leaves sufferers feeling helpless and hopeless. It’s an epidemic we can help.  For a long time, prescription medicine and therapy were the only treatments available, but Canines for Heroes is changing things. The non-profit organization helps these heroes get back their independence by supplying them with highly trained service dogs. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at Canines for Heroes and how we are making a difference.

We help.  We are 100% successful.  Canines for Heroes is a 501(c)3 organization that has been helping Veterans and First Responders with PTSD since 2016. We work by providing our local heroes with highly trained service dogs. These pups, who help their recipients and families, are not family pets. They are trained to perform specific functions that support the recipient’s day-to-day functions. Our dogs are with our recipients for life. They are highly trained animals, Canines for Heroes ensures that the recipient and their service dog remain together in all places, just like a wheelchair user. This is covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act, which gives service dogs the same rights as a person with a wheelchair.

One of the significant differences between service dogs and family pets is that service dogs are trained to perform specific functions to support a disabled person. It’s based on the person with the disability.  While family pets could be emotionally supportive to an entire family, service dogs work exclusively for one recipient. Service dogs are the hardest-working dogs and tend to have the most fun.  They have to be the most able, at least 40 lbs, usually a purebred herding breed and stable bone structure. Cattle dogs, Belgium Malinois, German Shepherd Dogs, Chocolate and Golden Labrador, and Golden Retriever.  Therapy dogs are also emotionally supportive and can be any size or breed like a Teacup Chihuahua.  Therapy dogs are not just support to their owners but to others who come in contact with them.

Canines for Heroes’s service dogs are trained and placed locally in Sarasota or Manatee County, Florida. The training is ongoing, and the organization provides support to our recipients to help them through the training process and beyond. We work at the Celery Fields.  We can be found at many hardware stores, KSRQ, Benderson Park and UTC practicing.  We have a training facility off Linger Lodge Road.

Canines for Heroes prides itself on sustainability and long-term support to our recipients. Many like Jim (shown) and Mark our Founder are available to speak and demonstrate our dogs. We collaborate with mental healthcare agencies, veterans support, and First responder support.  We also network with canine organizations around the country to ensure we continue to provide the best services at the highest level. In partnership with these organizations and experienced trainers, Canines for Heroes ensures our recipients get the best support available.

Our founder, Mark LaFlamme Lt. Col US Air Force retiree, has extensive organizational leadership training, which he uses to support the organization. He also donates his salary, so all the proceeds from our fundraising go directly to the dogs, dog training, and support for our recipients. You will have a chance to meet him at our Upcoming Clay Shoot on Oct 22nd. Click:

Please also join us at ManCave’s Birthday Party on the 1st and The Environmental Management Golf Tournament on February 24th.

Canines for Heroes is an organization that is changing lives. Our mission is to help veterans and first responders with PTSD regain independence.

Our highly trained service dogs are 100% effective, 100% successful and provide a service that medicine and therapy cannot achieve. With the help of our dogs and other support agencies, Canines for Heroes ensures their recipients are equipped to deal with PTSD and related challenges.

We offer ongoing support to help our recipients and our dogs through the process. Canines for Heroes’s partnership with other organizations ensures the organization continues to provide the best care and support available. We put their recipients first, and our dedication to the cause is unwavering. Canines for Heroes plays an essential role in the lives of Veterans and First responders with PTSD, and the contribution to these heroes is invaluable.