Serving Our Veterans with Service Dogs

Jul 19, 2018

US Veterans are some of the most dedicated people in the world. By risking their lives, they have promoted and protected the life and liberty that the United States stands for. However, those who return from combat and service are almost never left unscathed. Even if their body is without wounds, that does not mean they still aren't damaged. Statistically speaking, between 11 and 20 percent of veterans who served in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom have PTSD in any given year. Statistics seem to fall within that range for other wars as well. Additionally, there are reports of Military Sexual Trauma (MST) and Traumatic Brain Injuries(TBI). These wounds have the potential to be healed in time, but there are of course times when time alone is not enough. In 2016 the US department of Veteran Affairs reported the unfortunate statistic of 20 veteran suicides per day nationwide.

At Wolfkeeper University we have heard this call to action and taken it upon ourselves to use our resources to reduce and eliminate soldier's unseen scars. You may be wondering how a dog training facility can help to treat things such as PTSD, whilea lot of our healing isn’t direct, we’re training several soldiers of their own to tackle the troubles of our veterans: service dogs.

Having been surrounded by dogs since its opening, those employed at Wolfkeeper University recognize the positive power that the bond between an owner and pet can provide. Numerous studies have shown the reduction of stress, anxiety, and depressive symptoms through interactions with dogs. We hope to apply dogs’ capabilities to fight these symptoms to reduce the weight of the burden veterans bear after returning home.

Through the Road Home Program of Rush Hospital, Wolfkeeper University is able to provide many veterans or members of their families who may be in need with a service animal. Not only will veterans be able to work with trained professionals, such as Toriano Sanzone, who has been training dogs all around the world for nearly 20 years, but they will also be able to grow and maintain a strong bond with their dog through unlimited classes and regular contact with the Wolfkeeper staff to ensure that everything, dog-related or otherwise, is going smoothly for them.

The most important aspect of this program is the cost or, more specifically, the lack of one. This program is absolutely free for veterans or their family members who may be suffering from trauma similar to PTSD, TBI, or MST. We value our veterans greatly and because they have gone to such great lengths to serve our country, we find that we must go to great lengths in order to thank them. For more information contact Wolfkeeper University today at (312) 933-1528, use the Campus to directly message Toriano Sanzone.