Lanier Library to host talk on service dogs helping veterans March 20

Published 8:00 am Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Up to 10 percent of veterans from the Gulf War are estimated to have PTSD; up to 11 percent from Afghanistan; and up to 20 percent from Iraq.

With specially trained dogs from rescue shelters, many of these veterans have found the necessary emotional support for living with the symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

A presentation on service dogs who are helping veterans cope with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder will be the subject of the next Live@Lanier program, Tuesday, March 20. (Photo submitted by Vincent Verrecchio)

Bill Brightman, veterans’ advocate and founder of Service Dogs for Veterans, will answer these and other questions, and invite your questions at the next Live@Lanier program, Tuesday, March 20, at noon.

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Bill, a US Navy Veteran and member of the International Association of Canine Professionals, and Connie Cleveland, of Dog Trainer’s Workshop, started the nonprofit SD4V in 2014, which has now expanded to 11 volunteers.

SD4V adopts shelter dogs selected for temperament and intelligence needed for eight months of training. A dog and veteran graduate from the program as an affectionate team of loyal working dog and confident veteran skilled in handling a canine service companion.

Bill will be joined by Veteran James Gillian, with his service dog Seven, demonstrating how they work together. James has served in both the U.S. Navy and Army.

“Seven is always there to help me cope with all my daily activities,” Gillian said. “I do not have to worry, because Seven is always at my side.”

Others on the program include Sally Hursey, who will discuss her book, “Molly to the Rescue,” a true story about a local shelter dog who trains to become a member of the elite K-9s for Warriors.

Lanier Library is located at 72 Chestnut St., Tryon.

-Submitted by Vincent Verrecchio