Dog News

Shelter Dog Helps Veteran Suffering from PTSD


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annieAnnie was a shelter dog that needed a good home. Veteran James Lajoie was struggling with PTSD after returning home from Afghanistan. With the help of Citadel Canine Society the two were matched up and are now inseparable.

When James Lajoie returned home from Afghanistan he struggled and turned to alcohol.

“My only friend was alcohol really,” said Lajoie. “I pretty much drank from the time I woke up to the time I couldn’t function, and then I’d do it all over again the next day.”

Then he found out about Citadel Canine Society. The charity rescues shelter dogs and trains them as PTSD companions. Through the charity Lajoie met Annie.

Annie had been at the Saskatoon SPCA when Citadel Canine Society saw her potential. They adopted her and trained her to be a companion for someone just like Lajoie.

“For a service dog, it takes six months of training, one hour a day, five days a week,” said Leigh Michel with the Citadel Canine Society. “They recognize nightmares, they can be taught to know when his heart rate is increased…they can recognize road rage, if he’s having a hard time, she’ll keep pawing at him.”

Annie is already helping Lajoie, but she will travel to British Columbia to be tested as a fully-certified service dog.

“She’s going to help me get back into society and become a functioning person,” said Lajoie.

To find out more about Citadel Canine Society visit their website.