Sometimes the best medicine has four paws and a collar. Heartland Canines for Veterans is a Joplin-based not-for-profit organization that provides service dogs to veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and other disabilities at no cost to the veteran.

“Most service dog training costs range from $10,000 to $25,000,” explains Amy Donaldson, executive director. “We are fortunate to have a training facility that will only charge $7,200 to train a dog because they believe in our mission. But, we also need eligible veterans to apply for the dogs.”

Amy knows first-hand the need for such a program. She is a disabled veteran who suffers from a traumatic brain injury, with symptoms similar to post-traumatic stress disorder. Her service dog, Jaxx, was provided by Heartland.

“Jaxx is the best medicine I could ever hope for,” Amy says. “I continue to get therapy and take prescriptions, as a dog does not fix all our problems. But used in conjunction with other therapy, a service dog’s worth cannot be measured by money. It’s nice to be able to smile again.”

For more information, or to support Heartland Canines for Veterans, go to HeartlandCaninesForVeterans.com.