Stiggy’s Dogs is a great charity dedicated to helping get veterans – and dogs – back on their feet. Stiggy’s rescues and trains shelter dogs to be psychiatric service dogs for military veterans living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). The service is at no cost to the veterans.
The veteran-dog match making charity scored some nice publicity on Channel 4 recently (you can check out the report online at: http://www.clickondetroit.com/news/live-in-the-d/Live-in-the-D-Stiggy-s-Dogs/26726778).
While the charity has experienced growth in recent years, their mission has always been the same: to reintegrate veterans back into society. Veterans are matched with the dogs, and they train together for six months to one year, with each dog individually trained to meet its veteran’s unique needs.
With recent studies showing that one in eight soldiers returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan will experience some form of PTSD symptoms, the work of Stiggy’s Dogs is becoming even more important and pressing.
Stiggy’s Dogs was founded by Jennifer Petre in memory of her nephew, Benjamin (“Doc Stiggy”) Castiglione. Doc Stiggy dedicated his life to preserving and improving the physical and emotional health of those serving in his unit, and all who serve. He gave his life working as a Hospital Corpsman Third Class (HM3) in Southern Afghanistan, taking care of “his Marines” until September of 2009.
Since its founding, the charity has rescued countless dogs in addition to helping veterans. There are an estimated five million dogs sitting in shelters across America, many of whom will be euthanized. Many of these dogs could make an excellent service dog for a veteran living with PTSD or a TBI.
By uniting these dogs with those who have served our country, Stiggy’s Dogs is “Rescuing One to Rescue Another.”
Brigadier General Carol Ann Fausone (ret.) and the team at Legal Help For Veterans, PLLC has had the pleasure of working with Stiggy’s Dogs and helping them grow over the years. General Fausone currently serves on their board of directors. Please visit www.stiggysdogs.org to learn more about how you can help!
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