Marine Vet With PTSD Gains Furry Friend Through FAU Canine Veterans Rescue Mission – WSVN 7News | Miami News, Weather, Sports
(WSVN) – Life after service can be tough for veterans, but a South Florida university hopes four-legged friends can change that. Kevin Ozebek has tonight’s 7Spotlight.
Lenny and Lena are inseparable.
Lenny Polidor, FAU student: “Honestly, she is a really good dog. She doesn’t bark. She really likes people.
Lenny is a junior at Florida Atlantic University. He adopted Lena through the FAU Canine Veteran Rescue Mission.
FAU Professor Cheryl Krause-Parello: “When I see them together, it’s just that I know I’m doing the right thing.”
Professor Cheryl Krause-Parello launched the program this year.
The goal is to connect veteran students and alumni with dogs in need of forever homes.
Cheryl Krause-Parello: “I saw the benefits of the human-animal bond, and I knew our veteran students might struggle.”
Every day in the United States, an average of 17 veterans commit suicide, but having a canine companion can help combat depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, known as PTSD.
Cheryl Krause-Parello: “He’s someone to take care of. It gives them meaning, and I feel like if we can save a veteran from suicide, we’ve done the job that we need to do.
Prior to enrolling in the FAU, Lenny served in the US Marine Corps.
The transition from a structured life in uniform to that of an independent student was difficult. Lenny suffers from PTSD.
Kevin Ozebek: “Was that the main symptom of PTSD for you? »
Lenny Polidor: “Be careful, adapt – especially to those around you or communicate with others, because a lot of people don’t understand you.
But now that Lenny has Lena, he finds it easier to adjust to civilian life.
Rebecca Pasko: “She looked at me, the tail is excited, she wants to jump.”
Rebecca Pasko is the program trainer.
She is the owner of Happy with Dogs, a Homestead dog training business.
Rebecca is also a Marine Corps veteran.
Rebecca Pasko: “I’m a veteran with PTSD, so I understand that dogs really help me out. I wouldn’t be where I am without my dogs.
Rebecca Pasko (trainer Lena): “She moved on her own with her hand. Perfect! So these are more service dog behaviors to help him when he is out in public.
When Rebecca is in sight, Lena is incredibly obedient.
Rebecca Pasko: “She knows who to do what around.”
When she’s not, Lena is your typical pup, licking and loving everyone in sight.
Every dog in the program is from the Humane Society of Broward County, and you can tell Lena was chosen because she’s as sweet as can be.
Lenny Polidor: “He’s a great dog. I love it.”
When Lenny saw Lena at the Humane Society, it was love at first sight. A few weeks later, this bond is even stronger.
Lenny Polidor: “The sky’s the limit, to be honest. I feel like I could teach him anything, to be honest.
Now, as this veteran battles PTSD, he’s not alone. He has Lena, his cuddle friend.
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