by Meg Schweitzer
veteran service dog

U.S. Air Force swimmer August O’Neill kisses his service dog, Kai, during the 2014 Warrior Games in Colorado Springs, Colo., Sept. 30, 2014. (DoD photo by Senior Airman Justyn M. Freeman, U.S. Air Force)

The ability to ‘teach old dogs new tricks’ perhaps has never been more important.

A Florida-based non-profit is fighting the war on suicides and PTSD by teaching vets how to train their own service dogs.

Mary Peter, founder of K9 Partners for Patriots, created this unique way to help veterans control their road to recovery. The biggest hurdle is teaching dogs how to interact while they’re “on duty” out in the world.

“What we tell the veterans is to assume the general public knows nothing,” Peter tells ABC affiliate WFTS in Tampa Bay. “Assume when they go to pet your dog, they aren’t trying to be antagonistic, they just don’t understand.”

Nearly 300 veterans have shown an interest in the program, but Peters says there are currently more veterans seeking help than there are dogs.

The program is free, but veterans must qualify. Click here to learn more about the program.


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