The Warrior Canine Connection program has been kicked out of its offices in two Washington, D.C.-area military facilities, The Hill reports.
The program trains dogs to be placed with wounded veterans. Programs like the Warrior Canine Connection are much-loved among veterans who suffer from PTSD. Dogs can be trained to learn their owners’ triggers and wake them up during nightmares or flashbacks.
Researchers have gathered evidence that bonding with dogs can have a positive impact on oxytocin levels in the blood.
“Oxytocin improves trust, the ability to interpret facial expressions, the overcoming of paranoia, and other pro-social effects – the opposite of PTSD symptoms.” – Meg Daley, Olmert of Baltimore’s Warrior Canine Connection.
Service dogs can be expensive for veterans to obtain, so some organizations provide the services free of charge.
The workers at Washington’s chapter of the Warrior Canine Connection who trained and raised the dogs were informed of the matter in late October. They received a letter stating that they needed to leave their offices at Fort Belvoir in Northern Virginia and on the campus of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Washington.
“At two o’clock in the afternoon, I received a phone call saying there was a stop work order. There was no explanation whatsoever as to why that was the decision.” – Warrior Canine Connection Executive Director Rick Yount to WTOP
Yount hasn’t heard anything about issues with the program, such as a dog biting someone.
“Why would – all of the sudden – a program be halted that was serving patients?” he asked.
The program’s contract with Fort Belvoir was not supposed to expire until 2019.
“There is no question that this program saves lives.” – Yount
Why would the military no longer support such a program? Watch this video to see the amazing work that the Warrior Canine Connection program does to support our veterans.