HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – A local non-profit organization is helping military veterans cope with post traumatic stress disorder.
Got Your Six offers free service dog training to those struggling with the disorder, and also teams up with local animal rescues to find veterans dogs.
“If they have a dog, we will do a temperament test. If the dog qualifies, temperamentally, then we’re good. Otherwise we go through the rescues to find dogs,” said Huntsville Got Your Six owner, Laurel Rose.
Rose started the organization after her daughter struggled coming back from her second deployment. Her daughter told her she always felt better when she was with her dog which then sparked the idea to help others dealing with PTSD.
Got Your Six has been around since 2016 and has seen dozens of veterans change their lives with service dogs. Rose said the biggest reward for a veteran after receiving a service dog is the change in mental behavior.
Jason Carter served in the U.S. Army for three deployments. He said his biggest struggle after returning home was getting out of bed. Signing up to get his service dog changed his life forever.
“It gives me a reason to get out of bed every morning,” Carter said.
Carter has been going through Got Your Six’s program for a year and a half now. His service dog, Charlie, has learned most of the skills required to be declared an official service dog.
“They learn things like sit, down stay, and he will get in front of me if someone comes toward me aggressively.”
According to Rose, acquiring a free service dog and training does come with prerequisites. Eligible participants must be in therapy, provide a letter from a provider recommending a service dog, an honorable on the DD Form 214 and need to be physically able to move around and train the dog.
Interested veterans can learn more at GotYourSix.org or can call 256-527-0917.