Service Dog Program Expands to Serve Texas Veterans with PTSD

Canine Companions for Independence at Baylor Scott & White Health – Kinkeade Campus expands to enhance quality of life for those who have served our country

IRVING, TX – Canine Companions for Independence® at Baylor Scott & White Health – Kinkeade Campus has expanded its training program to offer service dogs for veterans diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The campus in Irving is the third Canine Companions location in the United States to grow its programming to serve veterans with PTSD. More about Canine Companions’® Veteran Initiative is available here.

The process to receive a Canine Companions assistance dog includes multiple steps. Veterans are invited to review the application information and contact Canine Companions if interested in applying.

Expansion of a Pilot Program  

Canine Companions was selected to participate in a multi-year study with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to train and place dogs with veterans with PTSD. With the knowledge gained from this study and its existing robust program of experienced volunteers, trainers, and staff, Canine Companions launched a successful controlled pilot program to expand its services to veterans diagnosed with PTSD. Following the pilot, Canine Companions opened a state-of-the-art training facility at its California training center to support veterans with PTSD and offer better support for veteran applicants. Since then, the program has expanded to the campus in New York and now to the campus in Irving.   

Specially Trained Service Dogs

The service dogs who provide support to veterans with PTSD have been trained in specific commands and proactive actions to mitigate the symptoms of PTSD. They are capable of interrupting nightmares and symptoms of anxiety, as well as performing positional commands that help their handler feel more comfortable in public. One of the first veterans to graduate with a service dog in the PTSD research program in California put it this way: “My PTSD symptoms no longer control my life … (my service dog’s) presence and invaluable training have reduced my stress, anger and anxiety, which previously closed me out of normal life experiences with my family and friends.”

Applicants for the PTSD program must be United States Armed Forces veterans and live anywhere within the state of Texas, or within 200 miles of the regional training centers in either Santa Rosa, California or Medford, New York. Find out more about an assistance dog here.

About Canine Companions for Independence

Canine Companions for Independence provides expertly-trained assistance dogs to children and adults with disabilities. Established in 1975, Canine Companions has six regional training centers across the country. Canine Companions is recognized worldwide for the excellence of its dogs, and the quality and longevity of the matches it makes between dogs and people. For more information, visit www.cci.org or call 1-800-572-BARK.

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MEDIA CONTACT:

Liane Smith   
Liane.Smith@bswhealth.org
214-862-0779

About Baylor Scott & White Health
As the largest not-for-profit health system in the state of Texas, Baylor Scott & White promotes the health and well-being of every individual, family and community it serves. It is committed to making quality care more accessible, convenient and affordable through its integrated delivery network, which includes the Baylor Scott & White Health Plan, Baylor Scott & White Research Institute, the Baylor Scott & White Quality Alliance and its leading digital health platform – MyBSWHealth. Through 51 hospitals and more than 1,100 access points, including flagship academic medical centers in Dallas, Fort Worth and Temple, the system offers the full continuum of care, from primary to award-winning specialty care. Founded as a Christian ministry of healing more than a century ago, Baylor Scott & White today serves more than three million Texans. For more information, visit: BSWHealth.com