65 dogs placed with veterans since 2006
What do NEADS dogs do for veterans?
- Help with the transition to prosthetics
- Aid with balance when walking
- Retrieve and carry objects
- Press buttons and open doors
- Turn lights on and off
- Provide support on ramps and stairs
- Offer valuable social interaction
- Assist with tasks for veterans in a wheelchair
- Respond to sounds for veterans who have hearing loss
... and much more!
Assistance dogs are provided to qualifying veterans at no cost.
In May of 2006, NEADS was invited to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington DC to give a presentation about the many skills and tasks that our dogs could offer to combat veterans. NEADS was the first assistance dog organization to be invited to Walter Reed for this purpose. In addition to hospital staff and administrators, many servicemen and women who had served in Iraq or Afghanistan (and were at Walter Reed being treated for injuries) were in attendance at the meeting. Our presentation drew a great deal of interest and enthusiasm. NEADS immediately recognized that the growing population of combat veterans required a program that was specially designed to meet their needs, and NEADS formed the Canines for Combat Veterans (CCV) program.
NEADS returned to Walter Reed in August of that same year to interview interested veterans. Our first CCV dog, Rainbow, was placed in October with Sgt Roland Paquette. Since then, NEADS has placed 65 dogs with veterans and the successful program has expanded to include qualifying veterans from all wars at no cost.
“[I] went from fighting on the battlefield, to laying in a bed and having people take care of [me], back to being independent and doing everything on [my] own…”
Chris Strickland, Age 22, Corporal, U.S. Army, regarding his service dog.