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Another heart-warming story of dogs doing good. Bravo to The Wall Street Journal for highlighting therapy dogs and the particular work of these "psychiatric-service" dogs.

I expect some well-healed WSJ readers could not resist helping out the non-profit.

:)



http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124727385749826169.html


... psychiatric-service dog, a new generation of animals trained to help people whose suffering is not physical, but emotional. They are, effectively, Seeing Eye dogs for the mind.

Taught to recognize changes in a person's breathing, perspiration or scent that can indicate an imminent panic attack, Tuesday can keep Mr. Montalvan buffered from crowds or deliver a calming nuzzle. Other dogs, typically golden retrievers, Labradors or Labrador retriever blends, are trained to wake masters from debilitating nightmares and to help patients differentiate between hallucinations and reality by barking if a real person is nearby.

The federal government has given the dogs the same legal protections as other service animals, so Tuesday can ride the subway with Mr. Montalvan and accompany him to restaurants and theaters. But few of the dogs are available to former troops like Mr. Montalvan, one of the estimated 300,000 veterans of the two wars who will ultimately develop PTSD.

Puppies Behind Bars Inc., a New York-based nonprofit that uses prisoners to train animals, has placed psychiatric-service dogs with 11 veterans and hopes to provide 14 more this year. Gloria Gilbert Stoga, the charity's president, said it is difficult to raise the $26,000 needed to train each dog. "We're just scratching the surface," she said.

 
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