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SOURCE Guardian Pit Bull Rescue
Guardian Pit Bull Rescue to train and partner service dogs with veterans in need
HOUSTON, May 14, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Guardian Pit Bull Rescue (GPBR), a local non-profit rescue organization promoting responsible ownership for pit bulls by educating, advocating and rescuing has launched a one-of-a-kind program in Texas to help rehabilitate American war veterans. GPBR partnered with one of Houston's premiere dog training facilities, ClubCanine to launch Operation Pits Healing Heroes (OPHH), an all pit bull service and therapy program for veterans.
OPHH was created to provide support, healing and therapy to military heroes suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), among other physical and mental disabilities. The program will rescue and train pit bull candidates to become service and companion dogs and help veterans regain physical and emotional independence.
Each veteran applicant will be paired with a GPBR dog, and together, they will complete the training program as a pair. This ensures the canine candidate is trained specifically to the needs of their veteran partner and can develop a life-long bond from day one.
"Studies have shown that dogs provide a therapeutic interaction that can improve temperament and build confidence," said Lauren Masters, Director of OPHH. "Pit bulls are natural people-pleasers with the heart and mind to be more than a family pet, which makes them an excellent fit for this type of rehabilitation program. They show an ability to help heal a person emotionally, and with the proper training and a partnership with a compatible veteran, these rescues can learn to be certified service dogs."
By using only pit bulls, the program will help save the lives of countless dogs, provide a free community service, create positive ambassadors for the breed and help rehabilitate the reputation of the most misunderstood dogs in America. The program is open to any veteran from any military branch that feels they would benefit from a canine companion and service dog.
GPBR will send promising rescue candidates to master dog trainer Dean Miller of the reputable Club Canine for a preliminary evaluation period. If the dog displays the ability to perform service actions, they will then perform a board and prep session that involves a two-week stay at the facility to establish the basic foundation of training. Simultaneously, OPHH will screen and process applicants, and if and when a match has been made, the pair will complete five to nine months of training, depending on the needs of the veteran. Each pit bull will be a certified service dog upon completion. There is no cost to participating veterans. All fees are covered by OPHH through donations and fundraising.
"I work with many dog breeds, all with different traits and personalities. Pit bulls, by nature, really are one of the most loyal, devoted, and versatile breeds, making them perfect candidates for service, therapy and rehabilitation," said Miller. "We hope that by showing the true nature of these loving dogs in a therapeutic setting, we can change perceptions and stereotypes, ultimately improving the quality of life for this misunderstood, often unwanted, neglected and abused breed."
OPHH is in the beginning stages and requires the community's financial support to help grow and sustain the program. Currently all participants are donating their time, efforts and expertise to get the program off the ground. With the help of generous donors, this program will have the opportunity to go to the next level, reach more veterans and help improve countless lives.
OPHH currently has one partnership, approximately 10 weeks into their training program with a former Marine. Pancake, the service pit bull in training, is one of the dogs that was abducted from the Montgomery County Animal Shelter in November 2013. He was later returned by a good samaritan and taken into the GPBR program.
About Guardian Pit Bull Rescue
Guardian Pit Bull Rescue (GPBR) is a 501c3 non-profit dog rescue based out of the Woodlands, Texas, dedicated to saving the lives of pit bulls. Their priority is to educate the public about the breed and promote responsible pit bull ownership. They advocate for a misunderstood breed that otherwise has no voice and falls victim to breed specific legislation, discrimination and cruelty due to an undeserved reputation. GPBR works directly with local animal shelters to rescue the breed from euthanasia and aid in rehabilitation for permanent home placement as a beloved family pet. The goal is to dispel the myth, fight ignorance and allow the public to know this breed for their loyalty, compassion and unconditional love that truly defines them
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