Effectiveness of service dogs on the quality of life of veterans with PTSD.
This year TLCAD is a gracious beneficiary of a Las Patronas grant
This year TLCAD is a gracious beneficiary of a Las Patronas grant to support our Prisoners Overcoming Obstacles & Creating Hope (POOCH) program. Thanks to Las Patronas, TLCAD will obtain materials needed to train service dogs, helping to make the program a success!
“The POOCH Service Dog Program is the perfect nexus of benefiting the local San Diego community by providing service dogs for wounded warriors and children with autism, saving dogs from euthanasia, giving our staff the opportunity to become a volunteer for the program and providing incentives and rehabilitation opportunities for our inmate population.” – Warden Daniel Paramo
Bringing families together and reconnecting them with the community.
Part of the amazing work TLCAD does is bringing families together and reconnecting them with the community. About two years ago, TLCAD placed Solar an autism service dog with Sadie who has a mitochondrial disorder and autism. Solar has enabled Sadie the independence her mother had always hoped for. Most recently as a family the Smith’s went to the San Diego Museum of Art, where they were able to enjoy the entire day without any meltdowns or anxiety.
“The kids, and I had such a great time yesterday at the art museum. While Bro needed me to do the math on how old exactly every single piece of art was, Solar would just sit next to Sadie while she concentrated on on the pieces she was into. She would dig her hands into his fluffy fur and hug him when the echoey rooms got a little loud. She must have dropped her map or drawings like 20 times and he would just pick them up for her. She giggled when her items were returned slightly slobbered. Zero meltdowns. It was the most chill outing we’ve had in a long time.”
– Nicki Smith mother of Leash-On-Life recipient Sadie Smith and her autism service dog Solar
Petco Foundation Invests in Tender Loving Canine Assistance Dog’s Service Animals
Grant of $10,000 will extend efforts to help pets and people in San Diego, California live their best lives
Tender Loving Canines Assistance Dogs of San Diego, California, today announced it has been awarded a $10,000 grant from the Petco Foundation to support its ability to have more shelter dogs in their programs.
Tender Loving Canines Assistance Dogs is a nonprofit organization that provides the gift of independence to wounded warriors and individuals with autism by building a dedicated community of service dog trainers and volunteers. Since 1998, Tender Loving Canines Assistance Dogs has worked to satisfy an unfulfilled need for Assistance Dogs in San Diego County, California. Today, the two main areas of focus are the Leash‐On‐Life Program that was developed to assist children and families who have been impacted by autism and the At Ease Program that was created to serve the needs of our country’s Wounded Warriors.
The grant was made possible through the Petco Foundation’s annual Helping Heroes fundraising campaign, in partnership with Natural Balance Pet Foods. During the campaign each October, customers are invited to donate in Petco stores across the country to support service and therapy animals and organizations.
The Petco Foundation investment will help Tender Loving Canines Assistance Dogs to assess and train more shelter dogs to become service dogs to help wounded warriors or children with autism.
“We are so grateful for this recognition of our programs and for these funds that will help us to increase the number of shelter dogs we are able to train as service dogs to serve the members of our community,”
said Karen Shulz, president, executive director and trainer at Tender Loving Canines Assistance Dogs.
The Petco Foundation has served as a voice for companion animals across the country since 1999. Today, with more than 8,000 local animal welfare partners across the country, the Petco Foundation donates approximately $15 million a year to make a difference in the lives of millions of animals. The organization is funded through donations raised during fundraisers conducted in Petco’s more than 1,300 stores across the country, as well as from Petco associates, vendors and corporate contributions. Money raised helps fund animal welfare organizations, spay and neuter efforts, animal‐assisted therapy programs and humane education. The majority of the funds raised remain in the communities where they were raised, as well as animal welfare efforts nationwide.
For more information about Tender Loving Canines Assistance Dogs or the Petco Foundation, visit http://www.tlcad.org or http://www.petcofoundation.org. Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or by using the hashtag #PetcoFoundation.
About Petco & the Petco Foundation
Petco is a leading pet specialty retailer that focuses on nurturing the powerful relationship between people and pets. We do this by providing the products, services, advice and experiences that keep pets physically fit, mentally alert, socially engaged and emotionally happy. Everything we do is guided by our vision for Healthier Pets. Happier People. Better World. We operate more than 1,300 Petco locations across the U.S., Mexico and Puerto Rico, including more than 100 Unleashed by Petco locations, a smaller format neighborhood shop; nine Pooch Hoteldestinations for pet daycare, boarding and spa services; and petco.com.The Petco Foundation,an independent nonprofit organization, has raised more than $125 million since it was created in 1999 to help promote and improve the welfare of companion animals. In conjunction with the Foundation, we work with and support thousands of local animal welfare groups across the country and, through in‐store adoption events, help find homes for more than 350,000 animals every year.
As part of our mission to educate the community about Service Dogs, TLCAD volunteers and staff participated in the Olivenhain Pioneer Elementary School Ability Awareness Fair
As part of our mission to educate the community about Service Dogs, TLCAD volunteers and staff participated in the Olivenhain Pioneer Elementary School Ability Awareness Fair on January 26th. During the fair students had the opportunity to visit different resource tables to learn about disabilities and experience what it might feel like to be challenged in some way. TLCAD President, Karen Shultz; Training Manager, John Previtera; and Volunteer Trainer, Chris Hanson, answered students’ questions about Service Dogs, educating them about how they make a difference in the lives of of children and adults with disabilities.
Service Dog-in-training, Ransom, demonstrated Service Dog skills and visited with students. According to Melanie Milicevic, the schools’ PTA Special Needs Representative
“All the kids and adults enjoyed TLCAD and this part of our day but it was particularly meaningful for our special needs children and their families! The Olivenhain Pioneer Elementary school family is thankful that TLCAD shared their time, experience, and
Facility Dogs can perform custom cues and behaviors that allow for their professional handlers to effectively utilize them during animal assisted therapy.
Veterans’ advocates believe that between 10 and 20 percent of veterans returning home from deployment display some level of Traumatic Brain Injury. The V.A. also estimates that nearly 20% of deployed service members suffer from symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. The visible and invisible wounds of war are tremendous and TLCAD recognizes the overwhelming need to assist our service members and veterans, both on an individual and community basis.
Therefore, in addition to placing custom-trained Service Dogs with Wounded Warriors, we also place Facility Dogs. These highly specialized dogs are paired with professionals that provide medical treatment or therapy for service members and veterans, and also touch the lives of Wounded Warriors in outpatient clinics and military hospitals by assisting them to reach their therapeutic and rehabilitation goals. TLCAD is thorough in the placement process, ensuring that Facility Dogs can perform custom cues and behaviors that allow for their professional handlers to effectively utilize them during animal assisted therapy.
Facility Dog Murphy was placed with physical therapist Kim Gottshall in the C5 Physical Therapy Vestibular Unit at Naval Medical Center San Diego. Murphy works with Kim to assist patients with traumatic brain injuries and
mobility impairments in meeting their rehabilitation goals as well as helps to increase their motivation and ease their anxiety. Murphy works with up to 20 patients a week and the positive impact he has on the lives of service members is profound.
“Murphy is a constant source of help and enjoyment in my therapy sessions. He assists me with standing when I am unsteady and lays with me during mat exercises. Hi is very reliable, calm, and helpful in each of my appointments. Difficult exercises become a breeze with Murphy to take my mind off the pain and a great motivator to complete them so I can go back to petting him! I always look forward to attending therapy to work with Murphy and believe himto be a great asset to the Vestibular Physical Therapy program.” -NMCSD patient
By performing cues that help mitigate his symptoms of PTSD, Jag assists Jesse to live a more independent life, benefiting not only Jesse, but also his entire family.
“Give thanks for what you are now, and keep fighting for what you want to be
a motto that resonates strongly with retired USMC Sergeant Jesse James. Jesse received his At Ease Service Dog, Jag, in 2012, around the time he was medically disciharged from the Marine Corps. Jesse suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder from his service in Afghanistan supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. Jesse’s symptoms of PTSD included hyper vigilance in crowded places, which inhibited him from going into public as well as sleep problems, which affected his overall well being. By performing cues that help mitigate his symptoms of PTSD, Jag assists Jesse to live a more independent life, benefiting not only Jesse, but also his entire family. When asked about the role Jag plays in his life today, Jesse states
“Jag is always by my side and looking out for me. We’ve grown so close together and the way se moves alerts me if someone is near the house or if someone is coming up. I do’t think I could sleep at all without knowing she is right there and able to alert me if something happens. She always looks out for me and knows when I need her.”
Jag continues to play an important role in Jesse’s healing journey, helping him to create the future he is fighting for.