Service dogs have proven to be life savers for veterans, and now three Maine women want them to help sexual assault survivors.
They are working on creating Service Dog Strong.
Their goal is to serve men and women, of all ages who have been raped or sexually assaulted. Their goal is to provide service dogs, training, and supplies at no cost to them. Plus, they want to do this by rescuing shelter dogs from local shelters. People saving dogs. Dogs saving people.
They are in the early stages of the long expensive process. They are trying to get the word out to raise money to officially become a non profit and serve their first group of survivors.
The ability dogs have to love unconditionally, provide loyalty, companionship, and pure joy is something that has been proven to reduce anxiety, depression, and many other symptoms of PTSD. There are so many hurting victims out there that want to take their life back, but don't know how. They are scared to go out in public, depressed and overwhelmed. PTSD is a debilitating disease that service dogs have been shown to hold the special key to helping.
There is no organization like this in Maine. There are several amazing organizations that assist military veterans with PTSD in receiving dogs and training at no expense to them, but none that explicitly serve rr-PTSD survivors (rape related).
In fact, Suicide attempts after sexual assault are actually HIGHER than with combat related PTSD. The number of sexual assault survivors that get prolonged PTSD is actually HIGHER than the number of persons in combat, who sustain prolonged PTSD. This non-profit needs to be started NOW! There are 12 people who want to be on a list to be helped....and it hasn't even really begun.
To make this happen, they need funding. There are legal fees to becoming a proper non profit organization. The cost of training, the cost of the dogs, fees...
When all is said and done, to properly help sexual assault victims, it's estimated at approximately 3500.00 per victim.
This is a call for help - for dogs and survivors. If you can help - it will make a difference.