ELKS LODGE OF LAS VEGAS #1468 AWARDS CASH GRANT TO HELP MILITARY VETERANS
The “Beacon Grant” has been awarded to Smarty Paws Canine Coaching Service Dog Program. The presentation will be held on Thursday, June 27th, 2013 at 7:00 pm at the Elks Lodge #1468, located at 4100 W. Charleston, Las Vegas, Nevada 89102.
Military Veterans return from overseas with a variety of issues. We are finding that a trained service dog will help them through many issues which include PTSD, anxiety in public places, or driving in heavy traffic, night terrors, etc. Service dogs are trained to focus on the person, calm the person, wake the person up during nightmares, and provide daily tasks that are useful to the handler.
The Smarty Paws Service Dog program trains the dog and handler to work together as a team. However, with the cost of the training, and other necessities, many people on fixed incomes cannot afford service dogs. The Elks Lodge, therefore, has generously awarded Smarty Paws the “Beacon Grant” so Donna Foreman, owner, and Janet Edberg, trainer, can provide service dog training for up to five individual veterans. Included in this sponsorship will be two veterans who are disabled and on SSDI, and two other recipients who are also in need. Their dogs will be trained for tasks and support. Their service dogs will learn to pick up objects, open doors, get help from others, turn on and off lights, and retrieve objects such as the cell phone, remote control, shoes, credit card, etc. by name. These dogs will also help their owners with balance and/or help them up off the floor if necessary. Many service dogs will also alert diabetics and other medical problems in their owner once the bond has been established.
One of our students recently commented that without her service dog she would be homebound and unable to go out in public to do even her grocery shopping.