Toronto Veterinarians - Pet Wellness Network


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Contact Willowdale Animal Hospital

Open 24 Hours, Year Round

256 Sheppard Ave. West
Toronto, ON M2N 1N3
(416) 222-5409

When we think of Remembrance Day, our thoughts turn to the lives lost by our Veterans  during the major conflicts over the years.  We also need to remember the men and women who have returned alive, and given years of service to protect people around the world.  These men and women have come back expecting to return to normal lives in their community.  Unfortunately, these men and women are often left with mental scars due to what they endured while overseas.  Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a diagnosis given to a series of symptoms which are related to things like concussive blasts, head injuries, stress, not to mention the experiences and memories of battles and witnessed atrocities.

This is where service dogs, like the ones trained at Thames Centre Service Dogs are life savers for many of these veterans.  The training these dogs receive is specifically geared toward clients with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  They perform a wide variety of tasks such as  Deep Pressure Therapy, Night Terror Response, and Medication reminder, just to name a few.  All of the service dogs trained at the Thames Centre Service Dogs are rescued  from the OSPCA and are temperament tested before they are chosen for the six months of extensive  training that is required.  They are matched with veterans based on personality between the dogs and the client.    The introduction of a service dog into a veterans life is monumental.  Quoting Beth Baker C.S.D.T.  “I have witnessed response from relief to excitement when they are approved for the program.  The veterans feel hopeful again and look forward to regaining their independence.”  So this Remembrance Day also thank the Veterans that have come home physically whole, but in need of help for their mental health and thank the Service dogs who make this difference.

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