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Program pairs student veterans with shelter dogs to tackle PTSD

Dog program
Posted at 10:01 AM, Mar 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-21 14:44:56-04

BOCA RATON, Fla. — Lenny Polidor is a diligent new dog owner. It's only been two weeks since he rescued his new puppy, Lena.

He says the decision to get a dog was easy.

Polidor calls his bond with Lena a gift, but the pairing is part of a new student veteran program at Florida Atlantic University that is addressing PTSD.

"You don't know you have (PTSD) until somebody tells you," he said. "Sometimes you just don't know what you're dealing with, until somebody points it out to you."

Polidor is participating in a new program called the "FAU Veteran Canine Rescue Mission," a partnership between the Humane Society of Broward County and Happy With Dogs.

Lenny Polidor.jpeg

The FAU Veteran Canine Rescue Mission program matches FAU student veterans and alumni veterans with dogs from the Humane Society of Broward County. The dogs are then trained by Happy With Dogs either for service, emotional support or companionship.

The program will serve as a resource for more than 1,300 military and veteran students currently at FAU. It also includes a research component on the human-canine bond.

Housed within Canines Providing Assistance to Wounded Warriors (C-P.A.W.W.) at FAU's Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing, the FAU Veteran Canine Rescue Mission also is collaborating with FAU's Military and Veterans Student Success Center to ensure students have the tools required for a smooth transition to civilian and academic life.

For more information about C-P.A.W.W. Canines Providing Assistance to Wounded Warriors, click here.

This story was originally published by Linnie Supall on Scripps station WPTV in West Palm Beach, Florida.