BROOKSVILLE, Fla. - From sitting in the pound waiting to be adopted to becoming a service dog helping a veteran.
A Brooksville non-profit is teaming up with Pasco Animal Services and already seeing amazing results.
Army Veteran Bobby White said his black lab named Bo has made his life so much better.
“All my life I’ve had problems with PTSD," he said. "When you are feeling uptight or nervous, he’ll wake you up from a nightmare. The comfort that he gives you, you feel like you can do anything.”
Bo and dozens of other dogs were trained at K9 Partners for Patriots.
Founder Mary Peter shut down her professional dog training business because she wanted a place where veterans could have a purpose and a responsibility.
“The dog learns their triggers so that the dog can wake them up from their nightmares and stop their flashbacks and all that. And it makes them feel fulfilled like I just did with my dog. They're out showing 'look what I did with my dog',” he said.
Vets can bring their own dogs to be trained, or they’ll be paired up with a rescue.
So far almost 80 have been saved. 17 of them came from Pasco County’s animal services.
“We have Chihuahuas all the way up to Great Danes and we have one St. Bernard in the program,” he said.
Not every shelter dog is a fit.
Candidates are brought here and they need to be able pick up on the scent of adrenaline.
The veteran then goes through a 19-week program with the dog.
The dogs, training, and equipment are all free.
“It is just helping so many veterans," said White. "They come in here and they won’t even look you in the eye. And within a few weeks the comradery of their brotherhood, they start talking to you and sharing some of their problems.”
Veterans can apply online to begin the process. For information click here.