Operation Delta Dog

Each month in this section the editorial staff of Military Embedded Systems will highlight a different charity that benefits military veterans and their families. We are honored to cover the technology that protects those who protect us every day. To back that up, our parent company – OpenSystems Media – will make a donation to every charity we showcase on this page.

This month we are featuring Operation Delta Dog, a mostly volunteer organization founded in 2013 in Massachusetts, that rescues homeless dogs and trains them to work as service dogs for veterans who are suffering from traumatic brain injury (TBI), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and related challenges. Veterans are able to receive a service dog through Operation Delta Dog at no cost.

The founders of the 501(c)3 organization saw the epidemic rise of veterans who served their country and then came home suffering from TBI and PTSD; at the same time, they saw shelters overflowing with animals looking for a home. They decided to tackle both of these problems at the same time: helping veterans through their time of need and finding a home for abandoned animals.

Service animals have been found to help treat depression, reduce stress, and manage the panic attacks associated with PTSD and TBI. Trainers find canine candidates from shelters and breed-rescue groups and train them – using positive-reinforcement methods – for a new life filled with purpose and affection. The veterans can participate in training without leaving their jobs or families and find relief with their canine companions from their symptoms and challenges.

According to the organization, it takes roughly $10,000 to train each veteran and dog team. All training sessions take place in donated venues to keep costs down.

For more information, visit http://www.operationdeltadog.org.