How to Help Michigan Veterans and First Responders Get Service Dogs

A nonprofit that matches service dogs with veterans and first responders needs help with its mission.

“That same day I felt a renewed sense of being. I felt completely restored at this point,” said Matthew McMurray, describing the day he received his blue German Shepherd from the Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs he four years ago. “They help stop nightmares, night terrors.”

Guardian Angels, based in Florida, helps veterinarians nationwide obtain service dogs, including here in Michigan.

“We need to help our veterans and first responders who have given so much to our country and our communities, and their lives have changed in ways that are not always positive,” said Mary Lamparter, regional coordinator for Guardian. Angels in Michigan.

Evidence shows that, compared to medication and therapy, veterans often experience lower PTSD symptoms when they have a service dog.

“We’ve often heard the statistic of 22 veterans a day taking their lives, so at Guardian Angels we like to base our success rate on the fact that we’ve been around for 12 years, we’ve matched hundreds of dogs across the United States. United and I haven’t had a single suicide,” said Nancy Dakin, trainer of the association.

Service dogs are trained for 18 months to 2 years, and the cost to train each dog, pair them with a person, and provide follow-ups is approximately $37,000.

The National Guard Association of Michigan hopes to raise $1.4 million to get 54 service dogs by 2024. The money will cover the cost of training and placing a service dog with a veteran in 54 states. and US territories.

Celebrating the annual fundraiser Michigan Army hopes to raise money for at least 10 dogs.

Tickets are still available for the fundraiser at 6 p.m. on September 30 at the Andiamo Banquet Center in Warren.

Buy tickets or donate here.

If you or a loved one feel distressed, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The Crisis Center offers free and confidential 24/7 emotional support to civilians and veterans. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 or 1-800-273-8255. Or text 741-741

CLICK HERE for warning signs and risk factors for suicide. Call 1-800-273-TALK for free, confidential emotional support.

Comments are closed.