Gaining strength from service dog
LIVING with PTSD is a daily battle for veteran Roger Weeks, but the Alexandra Headland resident has found hope in the form of his service dog Addison.
On the advice of his psychiatrist, Mr Weeks and his wife Angie began looking into getting a service dog about a year ago and found the process expensive and difficult.
After choosing to train a dog themselves, the couple decided to set up PTSD Assistance Dogs Australia, a charity to provide service dogs to veterans and first responders free of charge.
"It can be anywhere up to $40,000 to get a service dog and a four year wait and many of these people with PTSD don't have that money or time to wait,” Mrs Weeks said.
"From the age of five I've been training dogs, so I can train them and I'm going through the process of getting the qualification so I can officially train and certify them myself.
"Currently I can do the training myself but we have to pay an external certifier to come in a sign off on the dog.”
Mrs Weeks also said they will adopt all the dogs they train from a shelter to help reduce the number of homeless dogs.
"Really it's saving two lives, the person with PTSD and a dog that would otherwise be in a shelter,” Mrs Weeks said.
The couple are now in the process of sourcing funds and land to set up a training base.
To donate, search Roger Weeks on gofundme.com.
If you, or anyone you know, needs help, phone Lifeline on 13 11 14.