Our primary goals in working with Veterans is Re-entry/Transitional Living. Through our Service Dog Training Facilities we will accomplish these goals.
These facilities will be sponsored by ADL Service Dogs, Inc. and Circle of Veterans, Inc. Both are Florida-based 501c3 corporations specializing in helping veterans in need adjust to life on the Homefront after the battlefield.
ADL Service Dogs currently trains for PTSD, Autism, Diabetes, Epilepsy as well as wheelchair and daily living assistance. We train not only dogs, but also their handlers (patients). This program is growing towards the development of purpose built facilities, as described below.
This program will require intense dedication on the part of the patient. Typically a veteran would stay at the facility for 6 months to a year. During this time, both dog and handler will be trained together for the handler’s particular needs. Length of stay depends on the handler’s individual situation and the amount of training necessary to address their needs.
We have a vision of a summer camp-like setting with individual cabins (primarily 1 bedroom/ 1 bath units, but also some units for families).
Our vision for our facilities is to have space in one location for dog and handler training as well as offer permanent residential facilities for veteran dog trainers who have service dogs. These veterans are a key component to our training facility. We believe in the power of peer mentorship. Each handler will have a resident veteran mentor who will, under guidance of our master instructors, help the student learn to handle the dogs. The one on one instruction is good for both student and mentor. The mentor’s service dog also benefits by being utilized as a student teaching tool.
In addition to work done at the facility, it will also be necessary to train outside of the facility in order to acclimate the dogs to as many real world situations as possible.