JOPLIN, MO – A Joplin Organization continues its Mission of helping to ease the burden of residents who suffer from “PTSD.”
“Heartland Canines for Veterans” is a non-profit that provides veterans with service animals.
Executive Director Kevin Pruitt says Heartland received its non-profit status in 2015 and has since placed nearly 35 animals with veterans.
“We provide service dogs for veterans, we specialize in those that are dealing with PTSD, um we also sometimes have veterans that with that, along with that they have mobility issues so we can train for that as well.” Says Pruitt.
And within a few weeks, Pruitt says the organization will have its first real home in Neosho.
“We are actually getting ready to open a new facility but we’re gonna do a whole lot of other things along with the veterans service dog training so we’ll have grooming, boarding, doggie day care, all that other stuff which will then pay for the facility so we can continue to have basically no overhead.” Says Pruitt.
The animals are purpose bred and go through several months of task training, before a few more months with their match, in this case Anthony Alred and Addie.
“I feel like I can have a normal life.” Says Alred.
Alred was in the Marine Corps with a tour in Falluja, Iraq, and came back a much different person than he went in, and says Addie keeps his mind and emotions from returning back to combat mode.
“Everything, it allows me to have a family, um I spent almost nine years of my life trying to destroy it because I didn’t understand me, I didn’t understand what I was going through, there is no class in the military for that.” Says Alred.
For more information about the organization, and ways to help, click here.