Got Your Six Support Dogs
Got Your Six Support Dogs supports veterans and first-responders across the United States who have risked their lives to serve our country. To help those who struggle with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as well as sexual trauma, GY6's goal is to place trained PTSD support dogs with veterans at no cost to help them heal from the psychological stress of war through the compassion and healing power of their loyal 4-legged companions.
|Address:||1099 F Beltline Rd #200|
Collinsville, IL 62234
Research has proven that dogs positively affect an individual's' physical and psychological state and improves overall quality of life (Cole, Gawlinski, Steers, & Kotlerman, 2007; Holloway & Kopicki, 2015; Shintani et al., 2010; United States Dog Registry, 2013a, b, & c). Veterans reported that they turned to service dogs when other interventions including medications and therapy did not help them find relief and found the help in the recovery of PTSD. Interactions with dogs such as petting and talking to them have proven to decrease physiological stress (Holloway & Kopicki, 2015). These interactions are taught to veterans to aid them in coping with their PTSD symptoms. According to Attachment theory, dogs stimulate a nurturing response which could help overcome the social disconnectedness veterans feel towards others due to their PTSD. Studies have proven that service dogs become strongly attached to their owners; therefore this attachment between service dog and veteran could be highly beneficial in veteran's recovery and heightened quality of life (Holloway & Kopicki, 2015).
GY6 was developed out of the need of veterans requesting PTSD service dogs when all other methods of treatment have failed. Due to a high demand for PTSD service dogs and low accessibility to them, GY6 filled that need by focusing on training dogs for veterans who see this option as a last resort to surviving PTSD. The selected dogs are fostered by volunteer trainers for approximately one to two years of training and then matched with a veteran. The veteran then attends a ten-day training program let by certified trainers and licensed therapists. Not only do the veterans learn to utilize their new dogs, but they acquire life-saving trauma resiliency and suicide prevention skills.
Because of the unique nature our program, the approximate cost for one of our dogs is twenty-thousand dollars. The costs factoring into this total are:
• Acquisition of dog
• Training expenses
• Veterinarian expenses
• Grooming expenses
• Training Supplies (leashes, collars, treats, specialized equipment, etc)
• Dog care expenses (food, bowls, toys, etc)
• Boarding expenses
• Hotels and meals costs for the veteran ten-day pairing program
• Therapist fees for trauma resiliency and suicide prevention program