Long Island veteran with PTSD gets pit bull service dog

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Guardians of Rescue rescued Jada, trained her as a service dog and gave her to a vet in need

A Smithtown veteran with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has found new relief in the form of a four-legged furry friend named Jada.

Jada, a pit bull, is a new fully-trained service dog. She was originally rescued by animal welfare organization Guardians of Rescue last winter.

Jada was united with her new owner and pal Duane R. Franzone, a former sergeant in the Air Force, on Tuesday at the Save-a-Pet facility in Long Island.

Franzone spent 12 1/2 years in the Air Force, including deployment in Afghanistan, before being medically retired. He currently suffers from PTSD, which has had effects on his daily life.

"The holidays can be particularly rough for PTSD veterans because of the increase in crowns, noise and activities," says Dori Scofield, vice president of Guardians of Rescue.

But now, Jada's here to help.

"We want Jada, Duane to be able to be together for the holidays to help each other, especially after all that Duane has sacrificed for our country," Scofield said.

Franzone calls Jada the "best Christmas present" he could ask for.

"I'm thrilled to be able to welcome Jada into my home," Franzone said. "I hope that she can help me with my PTSD, and I can help her by providing her a home and love."

Jada, like Franzone, also know a thing or two about persevering through hardship.

Scofield says when they found her a year ago, she'd been used for breeding and lived outside.

"She had a broken jaw that healed crooked, and she was huddled in a dirt crawlspace," Scofield said. "We took her in, and as we got to know her, we saw what an amazing personality she had."

Guardians of Rescue then decided to put Jada into their Paws of War Program, where dogs are trained as service dogs and matched with veterans suffering from PTSD.

"She has proven to be amazingly smart and also an inspiration for forgiveness and survival," Scofield said.

Franzone now joins the ranks of dozens of service dogs and veterans who have been united through Guardians of Rescue and are now on the road to recovery.

To learn more, or to make a donation, please visit the Guardians of Rescue website.

Related Topics:
petsdogveteranholidayanimalanimal newsanimal rescuelong islandSmithtown
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