Specially trained pups help people with PTSD - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Specially trained pups help people with PTSD

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ELTOPIA, WA.-- Three-million Americans are diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder every year. It is a disorder that can't be cured, simply treated. However, one woman in Eltopia found a treatment that can last a lifetime, and has made it her goal to share it with everyone she can. 

Three years ago, when Mary-Faith Mattox went to her doctor looking for help, her doctor suggested she get a service dog. That's how she ended up with Sky, her now two-year-old German Shepherd. Mary-Faith suffers from complex PTSD, which stems from growing up in an abusive home. While she has moved on in her life, the trauma from her younger years will stay with her forever. 

However, nothing has helped her more than Sky's presence.

After seeing how sky changed her life, Mary-Faith decided it was time to help others in the same four-legged fashion. That's how Service Peace Warriors came to be. The program trains young dogs to be service dogs for veterans, and others that suffer from PTSD.

Training a great service dog is different than training your everyday pup. These dogs learn to be both alert and clam at their owner's sides day and night. 

"Our dogs we work with for hours, literally," said Mary-Faith, "They're not a pet. I think that's where people get confused. They are a working dog, they have a task."

That task can include anything from waking someone up from a night terror, to detecting an oncoming seizure. either way, these service dogs really are man's best friend. 

While this journey hasn't always been a smooth one, it has been moving very quickly. Service Peace Warriors is currently working on finding nine-month foster homes for the puppies they have chosen to become services dogs. There are requirements you will have to meet in order to house one of these special pups, but if you're interested, you can take a look here.