Best Friends Animal Society, Kanab, UT
Canines with Careers seeks to save dogs that would otherwise be killed in shelters by identifying those that could be trained to meet the tremendous unmet need for service and other support dogs in the U.S.
We conducted a qualitative study to explore the experiences of veterans who have PTSD and whose psychiatric service dogs were adopted from shelters as opposed to having been bred specifically for service. We presented preliminary findings to the Department of Justice Working Group on Military Veterans and Families, the national conference of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers, and the Society of Animal Welfare Administrators (SAWA) Research Symposium. By tracking the implementation of the Canines with Careers program model and demonstrating success, we hope to fundamentally change the service dog field by providing a compassionate and cost-effective alternative to the standard practice of relying on purebred puppies.