A helping paw

Dogs are man’s best friend – but for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), they are a lifesaver and are also being given a second chance at life.

CAPTION: A Defence Community Dog visits Canberra to raise awareness of the Defence Community Dogs program.

Funded by the Defence Bank Foundation, the Defence Community Dogs program has been running since 2014. Rescue dogs are being trained by inmates in correctional centres as assistance dogs and presented to veterans at no cost.

The foundation and Defence Community Dogs hosted a barbecue in Canberra and toured Defence Bank branches last week to raise awareness about how veterans lives are being transformed by the program.

Defence Bank Foundation Executive Manager Leanne Kyle said the day was a way of highlighting the program, which was having a tangible impact on veterans with PTSD, anxiety and depression.

“People are quite taken by the way the dogs are trained to support veterans,” Ms Kyle said.

“Our dog demonstration shows the crowd how these rescue dogs can really change the lives of veterans through their companionship and support in a time of crisis or distress,” Ms Kyle said.

“The Defence Community Dogs program is something we call a win-win-win. Every dog is a rescue dog, so they get a second chance, the inmates also get an enormous amount out of this program and, once trained, the dogs are presented to veterans at no cost.”

Ms Kyle said Defence Bank proudly supported the foundation as part of its commitment.

“People young and old have enormous respect for veterans and overwhelming support what we are trying to achieve,” she said.

Funds are raised through direct bank donations to the foundation, staff fundraising, member donations and dog sponsorships.

To donate, or for more information, go to dcdogs.com.au

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