Service dogs help Wounded Warriors readjust to life - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Service dogs help Wounded Warriors readjust to life

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PEACHTREE CITY, Ga. -

They are loyal partners, lifelong friends and they can help heal the wounds of war. They are service dogs being trained in metro Atlanta to be paired with disabled veterans.

Healing 4 Heroes, a Peachtree City non-profit group, trains and connects service dogs with Wounded Warriors learning to readjust to life back home.

Abbey is a lab who was rescued hours before she was to be put down. She now has a new mission: help Army veteran Todd Brown. Abbey is keenly aware of Brown's sentiments and emotions. Brown said he now has a new freedom to go to stores and other places he never would have gone to before alone.

"I'm able to get out and go shopping with the family now, so it helps tremendously," Brown said.

Disabled veteran Don Massey said his service dog, Scout, has been a great aid.

"What Scout does is he grounds me. It's complete loyalty love, dedication," Massey said.

The dogs and vets go through 140 hours of training together including exercises such as waking a vet from a nightmare and bringing him medicine. When training is complete, the canines meet standards set by the American with Disabilities Act.

Healing 4 Heroes founder Piper Hill, a retired Army captain, hopes to change public perception about psychiatric service dogs. But more importantly, she wants to help vets. According to the VA, about 22 veterans commit suicide each day.

"There's absolutely no reason that a veteran should take their own life," Hill said.

Hill said the nonprofit group depends on donations like the free room and board it received for training from the Wyndam Peachtree Hotel and Conference Center.

For more information about Healing 4 Heroes, visit: healing4heroes.org

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