Canadian Veteran Service Dog Unit is Ottawa Pet Expo’s charity of choice for the 2017 show.

Today another 22 Military veterans will die in North America at their own hand to end the pain caused by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This number does not include first responders. (Police, Fire Fighters, Paramedics, etc…)

CANADIAN VETERAN SERVICE DOG UNIT (CVSDU) is a registered Canadian charity (Charity Number 839865797RR0001) that exists to provide trained service dogs and support to military and first responder veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and Operational Stress Injury (OSI) and with your help, we are making a difference one Veteran at a time.

PTSD is a hidden disability. Its not a condition of weakness but a mental illness that affects those that have had to stay strong for too long. PTSD is something that affects everyone at some point in our lives after a traumatic experience and everyone handles it differently. Some will turn to drugs and alcohol to self medicate till all the drugs and alcohol don’t work anymore. They try to get back to being the husbands and fathers, wives and mothers they used to be but some will isolate themselves from their friends and loved ones and some eventually cannot  bear the guilt of putting their loved ones through the anguish and torment they are going through so they choose to end their suffering through suicide.

The dogs we have in the unit are making an incredible difference in their lives and helping them get back to the person they used to be. We have had veterans in the unit starting out on high levels of anti-anxiety medication and therapy that are now drug free and carrying on a normal life again. The dogs respond to their anxiety and take the member out of those situations. Watch the members back in crowds. Provide the member with a perimeter in crowds, wake the member from nightmares and snap the member out of flashbacks. One of our members refers to her dog as her anchor to reality. We have some of our dogs helping members with mobility related disabilities as well.

All our members are volunteers NO ONE  gets a pay cheque for what we do. All our funds go into the expenses associated with the dogs we train and the support that is provided to our members.

Currently we have 7 trainers in the unit and 7 members on the board of directors including 2 veteran dog handlers. We conduct monthly board meetings and the unit is run by its membership. The board is there to lead not to govern. We conduct weekly training for the members and provide continued support for all our teams. Once a veteran is trained, they become a mentor to hep the newer veterans in the unit.

We are getting new applications every week and our waiting list is unfortunately getting longer. Please help by making a donation today and you will not only receive an official Tax receipt but you will also have the satisfaction of knowing you are helping to make a difference in the life of one of our deserving veterans.

How can you help?

 

Pet-A-Pony brought to you by Loving Paws & House Sitting

Come by and meet the tiniest little equine stars! Steele & Duncan are debatably the most handsome members of the Loving Paws & House Sitting Team, and they are BOTH going to be on site at Ottawa Pet Expo, for a fuzzy cuddle.

Have your picture taken with these pint sized ponies for a suggested donation of $5, all in support of our Official Show Charity – The Canadian Veterans Service Dog Unit.