NEW YORK, Nov. 17, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Mutual of America announced today that PTSD Service Dog Program was named a Merit Finalist award recipient in the 2016 Community Partnership Award competition.
PTSD Service Dog Program was started by America's VetDogs ®, which was founded in 2003 to provide guide, hearing, service and facility dogs at no cost to veterans and first responders with disabilities from all eras. The Program pairs specially bred and trained service dogs with veterans whose primary diagnosed disability is post-traumatic stress. Many of these dogs receive training through America's VetDogs ® puppy prison program, which utilizes inmates who are veterans themselves to help raise puppies. To ensure veterans with PTSD have access to the same benefits as other war heroes, America's VetDogs ® partnered in 2014 with the Department of Public Health at Western Kentucky University to help measure the impact of PTSD service dogs. "America's VetDogs ® is one of the first assistance dog programs in the U.S. to be accredited by both the International Guide Dog Federation and Assistance Dogs International," said Wells Jones, chief executive officer. "Our partnership with Western Kentucky University will help ensure that our service dogs make a measurable difference in helping our country's veterans to live with pride and self-reliance."