I wanted to share this..which I think is wonderful that the shelter is doing this NOW after learning how important an animal is to a Veteran with PTSD/TBI..I am feeling though the outcome from what I was hoping may not happen..but this is great!!! I do love Jack..and still feel that its not justifiable to put him down after one incident..he can be trained..maybe not as a Service Dog anymore, bc of the recent incident, but he can still learn. He is a hardly a year old, and he still deserves a second chance..I do feel deeply for the other dogs owner..I had a dog killed in front of me, not by a Pit, but by a German shepard..my little dog was acting aggressive towards it also..I never asked the owner to have him put down though..bc I knew although my dog just died that their dog was just being in their nature..its sad all the away around..
On behalf of INTERNITY and the veterans we serve, I wanted to take a few minutes and thank you so very much for speaking with me yesterday about your facility. I look forward to working with you and your staff as we move forward to create an interstate adoption program for rescue dogs to become service companions.
As you and I discussed, we work with a very special population of veterans who are survivors of military sexual assault. Our mission is to help and empower these veterans to learn healthy self advocacy and develop functional living skills. Many of these veterans in this population appear "normal" but sadly have many hidden disabilities including Traumatic Brain Injuries, PTSD, personality disorders, panic disorders, and anxiety disorders. Sometimes, this damage is so great that when they are confused about a situation or stressed in daily life, they dissociate or react in less than societally accepted manners. This is the case with the situation which brought us together.
I know that the situation was not resolved in the manner by which the veteran publicly demanded, but as a behaviorist and fellow animal rescuer, I can understand the need for temperment assessments and the animal psychology which you and your staff employ to ensure safe and good fits. Sadly, I do agree that the animal in question will never be qualified to be a service dog due to previous operant conditioning, and it will more than likely never be a good fit for any placement due to the stressors and triggers it has suffered while in private ownership. This is a very tragic situation for this animal, but this is not to say that it is hopeless for all rescues. Rather it is quite the opposite.
As a veteran myself, I am thrilled that you and your staff will be able to do temperment and compatibility assessments as well as be willing to facilitate transports. These are really the most critical pieces, and then we will match the animals to honorable veterans who can give them a safe and good home. Several respected animal trainers are willing to work with the animals and veterans together over an extended period to ensure the dogs are properly trained to become certified service animals. This is what we call a "win-win" situation, and I am very grateful that we were able to form this relationship to help such vulnerable populations. I know that together, we will be able to make a difference and bring great joy and happiness to many lost souls. Thank you again.
Dr. Ruth Moore