Stories and Events - Blairsville, Georgia


Training dogs for Battle Buddies
Robert Lander and canine friend Ozzie

Battle Buddies Service Dogs help veterans

May 22, 2011 - Battle Buddies Service Dogs Inc. (BBSD) was founded in 2011 by animal behaviorist and trainer, Robert Lander, who was looking for a way to help American veterans who are suffering from combat stress and other emotional issues related to their service.

Many American veterans suffer physical and emotional injuries, making it difficult to transition back to civilian life. BBSD helps military veterans reclaim normalcy in their lives through companion dogs.

Estimates show that anywhere from one in eight, to one in five of all Iraq war veterans have some degree of PTSD and two thirds of those who screened positive for PTSD are not receiving treatment. People who suffer from PTSD will experience anxiety, depression, sleeplessness, flashbacks, and extreme wariness. The condition may manifest right away or show up months or even years later. Some of those who suffer from PTSD commit suicide.

More and more veterans are being written prescriptions for companion animals to help combat PTSD. Pets can help alleviate stress, loneliness and anxiety. The Centers for Disease Control and

Prevention says pets can decrease blood pressure, cholesterol levels, triglyceride levels and feelings of loneliness. Pets can increase opportunities for exercise and outdoor activities and opportunities for socialization. Caring for a pet encourages responsibility and adherence to a daily schedule.

BBSD developed a program focusing on addressing these issues by bringing together service dogs and veterans needing a companion for a better quality of life. Providing these dogs is an expensive process. The Veterans Administration does not provide any funding for the program. However, Battle Buddies Service Dogs is in the process of developing a fund raising program and hopefully will be able to help veterans who qualify for a psychiatric assistance dog. Corporate Sponsorships, individual donations, and volunteers are always appreciated.

Battle Buddies Service Dogs Inc. is fortunate to have the support of our wonderful community. You can do your part to help this organization. Whether volunteering, participating in a fundraising event, or making a donation, your support is greatly appreciated.