Local 'Patriot Dog' program gets Petco grant

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - The local Patriot Dog program is getting a grant from Petco.

The $4,000 grant for the program was unveiled at an event held at the Petco store on Prien Lake Road in Lake Charles on Monday.

The program matches specially trained dogs with U.S. veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and helps them heal.

Beth Zilbert, executive director of The People's Advocate and representative of the local Patriot Dog program, said the grant is greatly needed and appreciated.

"It's another tool in the toolbox for the vets to be able to heal and re-integrate after serving you know live on the line, serving our country," she said.

Josh Droddy, a veteran, said the program means a lot.

"Because as a veteran, you come home from Iraq or Afghanistan, you come home with emotional scars from the war, maybe you can integrate back home successfully, maybe you can't sleep, maybe you have anger issues. This program gives soldiers new hope a new life. Gives them that feeling of regeneration, that feeling of like that phoenix-approach, where they can come out and shine again," he said.

A major goal of the Patriot Dog program is to reduce the number of suicides among U.S. veterans.

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