Clinic Pairing Service Dogs with Retired Vets

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POLK TOWNSHIP -- A veterans rehabilitation center in the Poconos is offering a service to help veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Paul's House near Brodheadsville is providing veterans in need with service dogs.

These two pups -- Wiley and Casper -- are all fun and games but they also have a job to do. They are service dogs trained to help disabled veterans.

"We found working that dogs are very helpful," said Mark Baylis.

Baylis is the founder of Valor, or more commonly known, as Paul's House -- a veterans rehabilitation center near Brodheadsville. He says the service dogs are just another way to help veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

"If they have a companion, very often just the distraction and the soothing and calming quality of the animals can help," said Baylis.

The clinic has already placed several dogs with new owners.

Baylis says there are certain criteria each veteran must meet before getting a service dog. First priority would go to a veteran with PTSD or a veteran who lives alone.

"We are hoping we can make a positive impact on some veterans' lives," Baylis added.

Something as simple as walking these service dogs will help veterans in times of stress. That's why many of them are coming to Valor.

Michelle Goyette works with veterans each day and has seen firsthand all the good a service dog can do for a veteran.

"They want to walk the dog, play with the dog, and you can see the interaction, especially on a day where maybe they just aren't having the best day. Go play with a dog, go take a dog for a walk. It gets them out of the house," said Valor member Michelle Goyette.

Four more dogs are expected to be brought to the clinic in the coming months.

If you're a veteran in need of a service dog or you know someone who might benefit from one of these four-legged friends there is an application you can fill out.

You can get more information here.