Dogs graduate to help veterans combat PTSD

When trained right, these dogs can help veterans cope with PTSD after coming back to civilian life (April 24, 2016)

Sunday was graduation day for a group of very special dogs. The highly trained K9s will help veterans cope with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.

Nonprofit group 4 Paws 2 Freedom is service dog training group that pairs veterans and dogs together.

The group helps train dogs on how to recognize and de-stress veterans with PTSD.

Veterans spend eight weeks with their dogs, while the pups learn how to recognize emotions, turn on lights, guide humans to a safe place and alert their owner of people around them.

Marine Corp Veteran Richard Schmitz and his dog Roanne were one of the graduates today. He was a member of the 2/7 Fox Company in 2008. He says lost friends to suicide related PTSD.

"I don't think I would be around without her," Schmitz said. "After our tour to Afghanistan we have had 14 suicides. That is a lot for one unit to go through."

A total of six dogs graduated the 4 Paws 2 Freedom Training program.

If your are interested in a PTSD service dog log onto or call the organization 916-966-6758.

Copyright 2016 KXTV


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