The importance of Service Dogs

Sully seems to have touched a compassionate nerve in all of us.

He is in an exclusive canine group: Veteran Service Dogs.

This 2-year-old lab isn't not alone in his mission. Hundreds of service dogs are trained to help vets live their lives.

Colton is five-year-old standard poodle. Colton's person is Tim Stroud, a disabled combat medic from the Iraq war.

"I had a lot of social anxiety, because of things I saw and night tremors I had.  He was just a Godsend," Stroud said,

Like Sully, Colton was trained as a service dog by a certified trainer.  He's not a companion dog...he literally does a service for this vet.

Service dogs are expensive to train, close to $20,000 and the training takes months. Once properly trained, the dogs are donated to vets via multiple non-profit organizations.  Stroud got Colton through Easter Seals.

A doctor can often be the one to recommend a service dog and a place to get one. Start there. Then you can reach out to one of the many non-profits that place service dogs. Here are a few.

America's Vet Dogs

Veterans Assistance dogs of Texas