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Announcement

Help connect a PTSD survivor with a service dog

Publication Date

Monday, May 2, 2016 - 11:00am

As first responders and frontline workers, many OPSEU members have first-hand experience of the devastating effects of post‑traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). That’s why they have come together to raise money to sponsor a service dog for United by Trauma.

Close-up of a dark brown dog's face

A service dog for persons living with PTSD costs $12,000 to train.

United by Trauma’s service dog program connects first responders with dogs that can make a tangible difference in first responders’ lives as they battle PTSD. Research shows that PTSD service dogs can be a uniquely powerful treatment option, particularly where other treatments have failed.

Because PTSD is a complex injury, dogs of exceptional character and training are required to fully harness these benefits. Service dogs are carefully selected and adopted into the program at an early age, typically at eight to 10 weeks old. They remain in professional hands until they are put into the care of their owners. The cost to train a dog is about $12,000.

Three men and one woman sitting on steps with three service dogs of differing varieties at their feet.

(From left to right) Jamie Ramage, Ambulance Division Chair; Nicole Taylor, one of the founders of United by
Trauma; Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President; Ed Arvelin, Mental Health Division Chair

This initiative aims to raise awareness of PTSD, engage members, and promote OPSEU’s continued call for legislation that provides benefits and treatment to all workers diagnosed with PTSD.

The campaign will kick off on May 2 – the start of Mental Health Week – and run until May 28, the end of Emergency Medical Services Week. First responders are the first to come to the rescue when we need help. Now they are counting on you to give someone suffering from PTSD the service dog they desperately need. Please visit our gofundme website and give generously.

Dark-coloured German shepherd lying on the floor

A service dog can help a PTSD survivor when no other therapy seems to help.

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Help connect a PTSD survivor with a service dog

United by Trauma’s service dog program connects first responders with dogs that can make a tangible difference in first responders’ lives as they battle PTSD.