At Koda’s Choice, our mission is to ensure that veterans suffering from PTSD are able to lead happy and healthy lives with the assistance of a Canine Good Citizen (CGC) certified service dog by their side.
CGC certification is provided by the American Kennel Club (AKC) and is recognized as the gold standard in the industry. It instills good manners and requires dogs to pass a ten-step program for the purpose of obtaining a certificate and/or an official AKC CGC title.
Tasks include fundamental capabilities such surrounding safety and obedience, including being able to:
- Properly assess the difference between a friendly stranger and a threat
- Obey various commands
- Walk properly on a loose lead and behave in the midst of distraction, other animals and separation
We believe it’s imperative that the dogs we match with our veterans are ready in the fullest capacity, because we fully understand the vast array of issues already mounted against our returning soldiers.
After deployment, a large number of our brave veterans silently suffer with health issues including anxiety, depression, PTSD, and thoughts of suicide. The struggles regarding traumatic experiences encountered during deployment, coupled with problems faced surrounding assimilation back to civilian life, can be overwhelming.
As a result, various difficulties plague the veteran community that result in higher instances of divorce, unemployment and homelessness. In fact, according to one Pentagon study, divorce rates amongst Iraq and Afghanistan veterans is as high as 78%, unemployment rates are around 20% and rates of homelessness are around 10% — despite this figure being a starkly dramatic decrease from previous years.
PTSD is all too often unfortunately a silent struggle that heavily impacts every facet of the lives and futures of our brave soldiers. At Koda’s Choice, we understand this struggle and our mission is to assist veterans in any way we can.
But, the work we do at Koda’s Choice doesn’t just benefit veterans. According to the ASPCA, over 1.5 million shelter animals are euthanized every year. Our program helps save the lives of these loveable companions and extensively trains them to handle important tasks like:
- Opening doors during an emergency or crisis
- Retrieving medication during an episode
- Retrieving a phone during an emergency or crisis
- Answering the door
- Providing balance and assisting with mobility
- Responding to smoke alarms
- Providing medication reminders at certain times of day(in the near future)
These are just a handful of tasks that service animals can be trained to do. Here at Koda’s Choice, we work with each individual applicant to locate an animal that best suits his (or her) needs.
All of our dogs are selected based on their ability to become comfortable with whatever is needed including, but not limited to, helping with emotional support needs, mobility assistance, and handling a wide array of various tasks related to overall well-being. They are professionally trained before an ‘official’ introduction is ever even made.
If you’re interested in one of our dogs, the first step in the process is to fill out our online application. Once we are in receipt of it, someone will contact you within 24-48 hours to further discuss your unique needs and situation.