RRUFF Healing Heroes
By Victoria Bottini Curtis
22 veterans commit suicide every day. RRUFF Healing Heroes exists for the sole purpose of being a catalyst for hope and change. We do this 1 veteran and 1 dog at a time by funding service dog training for disabled American Veterans with PTSD and other invisible disabilities.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can occur after you have been through a trauma. A trauma is a shocking and dangerous event that you see or that happens to you. During this type of event, you think that your life or others’ lives are in danger. When you are in the military, you may see combat. You may have been on missions that exposed you to horrible and life-threatening experiences. These types of events can lead to PTSD. Other factors in a combat situation can add more stress to an already stressful situation. This may contribute to PTSD and other mental health problems. These factors include what you do in the war, the politics around the war, where the war is fought, and the type of enemy you face. Another cause of PTSD in the military can be Military Sexual Trauma (MST). This is any sexual harassment or sexual assault that occurs while you are in the military. MST can happen to both men and women and can occur during peacetime, training, or war.
One in every five American Veterans are diagnosed with PTSD and 22 Veterans commit suicide every day. These are saddening statistics that haunt our nation. Is there something that can be done to help these Veterans?
RRUFF-Dog Park inside Johnson-Springview park, the only off-leash dog park in Rocklin, has taken a stand to help our Veterans. RRUFF has created a program to fund service dog training for American Veterans suffering from PTSD, MST, and other invisible disabilities. The “Healing Heroes” program reaches out to Veterans within our community to help them heal through the bond they share with their dogs. Healing Heroes provides funding for service dog training classes at Pet Food Express, Roseville. The program also funds group service dog training classes for American Veterans enrolled at American River College, and recently discharged veterans at Beale Air Force Base started a class in July, 2018. All classes are taught by 4Paws2Freedom service dog trainers.
RRUFF completed construction of the “Special Needs Area” inside the dog park in 2014 for the purpose of providing an outdoor site for service dog training. 4Paws2Freedom uses the area for outdoor veteran service dog training classes as well as regular indoor classes. This site is also available to other service dog training groups, in addition to veteran’s groups. Currently, Guide Dogs for the Blind and Canine Companions for Independence use the site for their Puppy Raiser classes, all at no cost to them. Local rescue groups, such as Haven Dog Rescue, use the area for Adoption Days. Local dog meet-up groups like Sacramento/Placer County Bulldogs have monthly gatherings.
Did you know Sierra Ranch Veterinary Clinic & Pet Rehabilitation Center is the #1 supporter of the Healing Heroes program? They not only offer financial assistance to the program, but also offer discounted veterinary services. They believe in giving back to our community and feel strongly about supporting area rescue groups, the Placer SPCA, and local nonprofits.
How can you help? Making A Donation- no matter the size- helps fund a full one year class for Veterans and their dogs in need of service dog training. Your 100% tax-deductible donation stays within the community and helps local Disabled American Veterans suffering with PTSD, MST, and other invisible disabilities. Sierra Ranch Veterinary Clinic & Pet Rehabilitation Center will match your donation up to $10,000!
To make a donation or to learn more, visit the Healing Heroes website http://rruffhealingheroes.org.