Semper Fido is a non-profit organization committed to the rehabilitation of service members and veterans that have been injured while defending our country and have been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and/or traumatic brain injuries (TBI). It has been proven that using dogs for mental, as well as physical rehabilitation, can greatly benefit these warriors recovery. Dogs will be obtained from a number of sources including, but not limited to breeders, rescue groups and shelters.Semper Fido, Inc. is committed to helping in the rehabilitation of these brave warriors while saving unwanted animals from shelters and rescues. Our service dogs are obtained from a number of sources including, but not limited to, rescue groups and shelters. Our organization benefits both parties involved; those who sacrificed themselves for our freedoms, and the dogs that may have had no hope of a forever home.
Each service dog is trained over the course of a 6-9 month program. During these 6-9 months, the service members bonds with the dogs by feeding, walking, playing with and grooming them. The service member is taught to use the commands the dog has learned from professional dog trainers. Upon completion of the program, the team graduates and receives certification as a service dog team. The dog then goes home with the service member.
Veterans often suffering alone, seem to silence themselves because of the stigma still attached to psychological injuries like PTSD. The dog can calm them down and get their minds off of everything going on in their lives by focusing on the dog not themselves.
For warriors with PTSD, it has been documented that a dog helps with emotional regulation. Patients who are very anxious and have anger issues find they can’t work with a dog if they yell. They must have a calm voice. Working with a dog helps build confidence and bridge the gap with strangers. More often than not the response and the bond is immediate.
A veteran with PTSD has sleep disorders and often awakens to find him/herself soaked in sweat from the nightmare of war. With his/her Working Support Dog they are able to sleep. Simply having a dog around allows the warriors to trust the dog to assess the safety of their surroundings, as the dogs have a much keener sensory capacity than people.